Partnership, Applicability and Scalability of Innovations and Technologies for Climate Resilience in South Asia
About CARE for South Asia Project
CARE for South Asia project, implemented by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) with support from the World Bank, has been empowering decision-makers with tools, products, and services to act on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water, and resilient infrastructure. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), UK, through the World Bank’s PARCC Trust Fund’s TechEmerge and Climate Innovation Challenge (CIC), created an enabling environment for climate resilience in the region by improving the availability of regional data and knowledge, developing guidelines, tools, and capacities, and promoting climate-resilient decisions, policies, and investments across key sectors. Specifically, it has enabled crowdsourcing innovators and developers of disruptive technological solutions that are need-based and matched to the challenges faced by the countries where the technologies were deployed. More information is available on the TechEmerge Webpage and CIC Webpage.
Twenty-three innovations were selected through TechEmerge and CIC, with completed pilot projects successfully deployed in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The pilot activities between 2021-2022 leveraged cutting-edge and disruptive technologies, ranging from the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), drones, deep-learning models, and automatized land-use to simpler but effective smart farming and digital systems for decision support in climate information and analytics—furthermore, low-tech Wi-Fi-connectivity radios have helped ensure information access for remote communities.
Government entities in the region have expressed their intentions to promote further piloted innovations and acquire new ones to enhance climate and disaster resilience. However, further scaling up of new climate innovations should be based on the following documented lessons learned from the implementation of TechEmerge and CIC.
iCARE Innovations Fund Objectives
The iCARE Innovations Fund for the period covering July 2023 – March 2025, under the scope of the CARE for South Asia project, will aim to promote innovation and co-creation, focusing on climate resilience data and analytics, decision-support systems, guidelines, and standards in South Asia Region (SAR). Building on the work carried out under the PARCC TF Grant No. TF0B2642, the iCARE Innovations Fund will upscale footprints in enhancing climate adaptation, making infrastructure and systems resilient, and enabling innovations in sectoral decision support systems for climate resilience.
- Specifically, the following are the objectives:
- Promote innovation and co-creation in climate resilience data and analytics.
- Foster innovation in decision-support systems for climate resilience
- Enable innovations in climate resilience development in focused sectors.
ADPC facilitated fostering collaboration in the target countries and administrating grants under CARE for South Asia project. Some of the key value additions ADPC brought into this realm are:
- Common vision among stakeholders: Partnerships among and across stakeholders were a key strategy. Although the structure of the partnership varied, it essentially brought together innovators, community, private sector, cooperatives, academia, international and grassroots organizations, as well as several subject matter experts for conversations, united by a common vision and mission focusing on resolving some of the climate challenges faced by SAR across the continuum.
- Complementarity among different streams: Climate resilience is a multi-dimensional agenda, and its interpretation varies across different subject streams. ADPC acted as a cog to bring different themes together on the same platform: disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation, technology, remote sensing and GIS, governance and local governance, agriculture, and rural development, and business and start-ups. It facilitated the negotiation among these themes to find innovative solutions which are apt, low-cost, sustainable, and scalable.
- A platform for networking to leverage resources: Opportunities were created to bring innovators and other partners together on one platform. For example, a two-day event was organized on 22-23 August 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, to which all innovators and selected development partners from UN, ADPC, and Senior Government Advisors were invited. This allowed innovators to network with other innovators and seek insights from development experts on the needs and priorities of governments, upscaling, engaging the community, and sustainability.
- Knowledge sharing: ADPC leveraged its platform to disseminate innovative and disruptive technologies through a series of online webinars. Two interactive websites (www.adpc.net/cic and www.adpc.net/techemerge) disseminate information on the SAR countries, the 23 pilot innovations, their processes, outcomes, and lessons.
- Facilitating access: Innovative and disruptive technologies were primarily implemented at community and sub-national levels. They involve access to the community, urban bodies, and local and national governments. ADPC has been working with national and local governments, urban bodies, and communities and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and goodwill.