This research theme aims to identify national climate action options that can be implemented to maximise the reduction multidimensional poverty and inequality (MDPI) and to highlight the likely trade-offs. While recent reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change systematically review climate response options in terms of “feasibility”, our research approach goes further by assessing the potential of options to address poverty and inequality in parallel with climate adaptation and/or mitigation, and with a focus beyond only peer-reviewed literature on adaptation.

In short, this work is systematically mapping climate change projects in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa to understand how funded interventions map onto national climate action priorities and MDPI or Sustainable Development Goal co-benefits.

The key research questions

  • What specific options have been suggested (in research literature, grey literature, policies and action plans) and to what extent can these address national climate action areas and MDPI?
  • What climate projects have been implemented, and what aspects (if any) of MDPI have they aimed to address?
  • How successful have (some) of these projects been in achieving their stated climate and MDPI objectives/outcomes?


The research is structured by:

  1. Documenting national climate change action priorities for Ghana, Kenya and South Africa to provide a framework for mapping climate response options and climate response projects.
  2. Documenting climate response options that have been suggested for each of the national climate change action areas and analysing these in terms of MDPI reduction co-benefits and trade-offs.
  3. Documenting and analysing ‘on-the-ground climate’ response projects in the three countries to identify proposed and realised climate response and MDPI reduction outcomes, as well as lessons learned for these projects. 
  4. Developing, with other research theme teams, an analytical framework for assessing MDPI potential and trade-offs that can be used for the analyses in activities 2 and 3 above.

Links to other research themes 

This research theme is leading the development of an agreed, high-level set of dimensions that can inform MDPI analysis across all the project research themes. Documenting national climate change action priorities for Ghana, Kenya and South Africa is taking place in collaboration with the first research theme on Governance of climate change, social inequality and sustainable livelihoods.


  • Jacob Dodoo, University of Ghana
  • Chris Gordon, University of Ghana
  • Nadine Methner, University of Cape Town
  • Reuben Mutegi, University of Nairobi
  • Mark New (team leader), University of Cape Town
  • George Outa, University of Nairobi
  • Darlington Sibanda, University of Cape Town