The leadership program provides a unique opportunity to African researchers, practitioners and policy advisors/analysts to facilitate a three-dimension dialogue between climate researchers, policy and vulnerability impacts and adaptation experts who apply modelling results for wide array of research. Leadership capacity of ten (10) mid-level to senior policy advisers/analysts will be developed to use research and practical evidence to inform active and ongoing policy formulation, review or implementation processes within their work environment (where there is an existing “policy window of opportunity”) and provide appropriate advice in an action research mode. The policy fellows will be mid-level to senior policy advisors/analysts from government ministries and agencies who are responsible for climate sensitive sectors.

The AI will include lectures by scholars and practitioners in adaptation policy as well as hands-on interactive exercises, trainee panels, and other modules. The program will identify the program champions/leaders that are key to the success of the AI – they are expected to bring their experiences and skills to the AI, which will promote co-learning and sharing of experiences, one of the key objectives of the AI.

Policy fellows will also be expected to identify senior researchers with subject matter expertise in the respective thematic policy issue selected to be their mentors from amongst the grantees or from outside this group. Mentors will be expected to meet their fellows face to face (if based in the same country) or follow up on the fellows’ research online.

The inception training will be followed practical policy action using action research. Fellows with high quality research proposals will be eligible to receive a 12-month research grant of US$ 4,000 to carry out their proposed research. In this research, the policy fellows will use the knowledge gained during the training and work with practitioners on the ground. They will also be expected to get guidance from mentors. In addition, a discussion forum in the program website will be established to facilitate communication among the fellows and their mentors. The program managers will ensure that selected facilitators for the training can be the mentors of the policy fellows.

Policy fellows will be expected to synthesize their findings, prepare a paper and present the paper in the mid-term review workshop.

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