The SARUA Programme on Climate Change
Developing Curriculum (and Pedagogical) Resources for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in the SADC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is strongly affected by the impacts of climate change. The reality of climate change cuts across a range of regional development priorities, and poses a particularly serious risk to the most vulnerable communities within the SADC. To address the complex and interrelated challenges of climate change, it is important to develop inter- and transdisciplinary approaches that draw on perspectives from the human, social, natural and technical sciences. To increase the ability of SADC universities to respond to the challenges of climate change, the SARUA programme on climate change contributes to capacity building in the region through a climate change peer network that serves as the custodian of curriculum resources for a trans-disciplinary Master’s curriculum in Climate Change and Sustainable Development. These curriculum resources are available as open access resources to any university within the SADC that wishes to utilise all or part of the materials to provide formal or non-formal programmes in this area. While the curriculum resources are pitched at the level of a Master’s degree, they could also be used to offer programmes such as postgraduate diplomas, or to present short courses in areas of interest.

From 2010, the SARUA Programme on Climate Change has developed through two phases. This overview provides an outline of regional climate change experts to the development of curriculum resources on climate change during Phase 1 from 2010 to 2017, and Phase 2 from 2021 onwards

Phase 1: Climate Change Mapping and Curriculum Resources for a Master’s Degree in Climate Change and Sustainable Development

Launched in 2010 at a meeting of SADC Vice Chancellors, the first phase of the SARUA Climate Change and Capacity Development Programme took place between 2010 and 2017 with a climate change mapping study which led to the development of an open access Master’s degree curriculum in Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The project was funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, a global network which works to enhance the quality of life for the poorest and most vulnerable to climate change (https://cdkn.org/who-we-are). Led by a Consortium of seven universities, different universities in the SADC took part in the development of a transdisciplinary approach to Climate Change and Sustainable Development through extensive country mapping and engagement with stakeholders. The net result was the initial development of the SARUA Master’s degree in Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The programme design consisted of the following core and elective modules.

Compulsory Modules

1. Key Concepts in Climate Change and Sustainable Development

2. Transdisciplinary Thinking and Skills

3. Mitigation and Adaptation in Theory and Practice

Elective modules

1. Agriculture, Food, Security and Climate Change

2. Climate Change and Ecosystem Services

3. Climate Change and Social Justice

4. Climate Change and Urban Development

SARUA also developed instructional support in the hosting of the modules. More information on the process that was followed in the Climate Change Capacity Development Programme (CCPD) can be found in the following links:

Curriculum Assessment Guidelines Tools

Curriculum Outcomes Categories

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