West Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Following a severe drought in the region in 2012, ActionAid initiated the Agroecology and Resilience (AER) project in Senegal and The Gambia, with funding from the US-based MAC Foundation. With an emphasis on women’s empowerment, agroecology and disaster risk reduction strategies, the project works to strengthen communities’ own capacity to analyse the challenges they face and to create change.
The project began in 2013. Since then, the region has continued to face the escalating impacts of climate change including drought, late rains, flooding, as well as rising sea levels and increased salinity in coastal, island and river estuary areas. These challenges have tested the project, showing its many achievements, and providing lessons on areas that can be further strengthened.
A mid-term review of the AER project provides key lessons for the wider ActionAid federation and other actors seeking to build resilience to climate change.