As a three-time participant in the ICCCAD short course, I consider myself as a veteran by now!
The first course I attended was the 7th Short Course on Scientific Approaches to CBA, in July 2011. At that time I had just arrived in Bangladesh. I had come to conduct an initial participatory research assessment, for participatory action research on climate risk management under the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Program. I was quite new to the subject and the Bangladeshi context, and the course was a good starting point for me. Through theoretical lectures illustrated by a field trip and discussions with international participants, we defined and unpacked the concept of community-led research with a specific focus on agriculture adaptation, providing me not only with a good overview of Bangladesh, but mainly concrete scientific tools and ideas on how to start my work here.
The second was a stakeholder consultation workshop followed by a three-day training course on South-South cooperation for addressing Loss and Damage. Having participated to the COP 18 in Doha and followed the vehement discussions on loss and damage, I was very interested in finding ways to integrate or link the loss and damage issue to my current work on adaptation, as well as better understanding the future steps to be taken to move towards an international mechanism on L&D. The presentations gave the floor for rich and active discussions among the participants, especially on how index based insurances could compensate for loss and damage, which is a topic I am working on.
The third short course was a workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation for CBA, in April 2013, and was coupled with the CBA7. My participation to this training was a response to a need I had to develop a M&E approach for my project that would specifically target CBA. How to measure the increased resilience of communities to something that is constantly evolving, and difficult to isolate and to measure? And how to link that with your activities? Through an interesting formula consisting in working in groups and developing an analytical observation of some presentations at the conference in the light of the M&E for CBA, the course helps you to question, to criticize, to look at your project within a different time frame, a broader scale. There is no easy, ready-made method, tool or answer to that question, but there is an emerging concern about it. And at the end of the course you’re able to take a different look at the situation, ask the right questions and take part in this emerging process to better integrate CBA in your M&E approach.
I definitely consider those three short courses as a full part of my learning process that supported and completed my working experience in Bangladesh. Starting from a broad, huge multi-drawer concept like CBA, it accompanied me while I progressively diversified my knowledge and experience through specific topics such as Loss and Damage and M&E for CBA, thanks to the opportunity to explore and unpack them within an international group of experts.