Last Saturday in Dhaka my
colleagues and I presented the findings of
– the largest ever study in the region on people’s perceptions
of and responses to their changing environment. Over two years and across seven
countries, our team of researchers carried out 33,500 interviews with people
from fishermen and farmers to slum dwellers and urban professionals.

The project not only captured
people's stories and experiences but created a range of tools which allow users
to explore the stories of those most affected by changing weather and how
communication can help them.

Along with country reports, we
have built a free
searchable website
capturing findings from every single interview, a
segmentation model prescribing communication approaches for different
vulnerable audiences and a guide to developing communication strategies.

Living research

We wanted to make sure our
research could be tailored to different organisations’ needs and does not just
sit on a shelf.  Research that is not used is dead research and we want to
do justice to the people who have shared their stories and told us they need a
lot more help.

That's why we are launching the
project’s findings one country at a time around the region, holding sessions
with the individuals and organisations best placed to use our tools to support
those at the front line of climate change. These include governments, media
houses and NGOs as well donors and the private sector.

We’ve encouraged these
stakeholders to know their own audiences to better to meet their needs, which
is the ethos behind Climate Asia. However, to do this properly we first needed
to understand our own audiences for our work.

Beginning in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, recently dubbed
the ‘adaptation capital of the world’, our approach was to run a workshop
drawing on practitioners' own experiences of the interventions but using our
findings and insights to tackle barriers to taking action. 

The workshop resulted in some
lovely creative ideas for programming, such as a soap opera about migration for
women in slums. With over 70 different organisations in the room there was a
genuine sense of excitement about what our data and communication could bring
to an already thriving sector.

Delhi bound

And yesterday, as we launched in
Delhi, we knew India would be a tough audience to impress – presentations on
early findings had been met with “Tell us something new!” a number of times. So
we knew we had to do something a bit different.

Our top-line finding was a
challenge to the climate-change communication sector in the country: “Indians
are the least willing and able to respond to climate change.” 

We also
hosted a debate on some of our key findings with leading figures such as Vikram
Chandra, CEO of major network NDTV, Navroz Dubash, Senior Fellow at the Centre
for Policy Research and well known youth activist, Vimlendu Jha.

And we had a very distinguished
keynote speaker in Dr R.K. Pachauri, the chairman of the UN Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change.

This time the audience was
challenging, engaged and interested to learn more about our products,
methodology and plans for what happens next – in short, it was everything we
had hoped for.

We felt a real appetite in the room for a new language and approach to communicating on climate change in
India, and a sense that some of the sector’s leaders recognise this is
something we can bring to the table.

Next week we launch in Kathmandu
where we will present our findings to a new audience with new priorities. But
as in Bangladesh and India, we’ll work to make sure they find our products just
as relevant and useful.


Related links

Asia data portal

report (PDF)

Bangladesh report (PDF)

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