Adapting to climate change

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we have suspended our physical training events. We are considering moving to an online model. This would likely involve training sessions via Zoom or another suitable platform, spread over a number of weeks, with larger groups of participants and lower registration costs. The content would be similar to that outlined below, with updated material (e.g. on net-zero and the intersection between climate change and the pandemic). The information below relates to the last planned week-long training course, which was to be held in March 2020, but gives a flavour of content. If you are interested in online training, or want further details about likely content, please contact us.

Who: Individuals & organisations that need to address climate change in their operations & planning (businesses, NGOs, staff from national and local governments, international/ multilateral organisations, donors and recipients of development aid).

Cost: €1300 (excludes accommodation; includes lunches, tea, coffee, 1 evening meal, access to all course materials, certificate of completion). €520 for Days 1 & 2 only (see below). We will be offering a variety of discounts, for early registration, residents of Barcelona, participants from developing countries, and those travelling by surface rather than air.

Days 1 and 2: The first two days of the course are open to anyone who wants an overview of climate change issues but does not need the detailed content on adpatation practice that is covered in days 3-5. Days 1 and 2 of the course cover global climate science and policy contexts, and provide an overview of climate change impacts, and and introduction to adaptation and net-zero. These two days are suitable for anyone who wants to develop a good general understanding of climate change for personal or professional purposes. See the draft indicative programme for more details.

Language: English

Registration: To register for this course, please follow the instructions on our registration page, or simply contact us.


This 5-day course is aimed at individuals and organisations that need to integrate climate change adaptation into their day-to-day activities and operations. The course provides participants with an understanding of climate science and policy at the global level, with particular reference to the Paris Agreement and its goals (and our prospects of achieving them and consequences if we don’t). It covers global and regional climate change impacts, and climate change adaptation and resilience. We have also recently introduced a session on net-zero transitions.

The course gives participants the practical skills they need for mainstreaming or integrating climate change adaptation into their work. It provides an overview of current adaptation thinking and practice, and how adaptation relates to concepts such as risk, resilience, vulnerability and transformation. The course includes content on screening projects/activities for climate change risks and opportunities; undertaking climate risk and vulnerability assessments; identifying, prioritising and implementing adaptation actions; and monitoring and evaluating adaptation performance/effectiveness in different contexts (e.g. at the project, programme and national levels). The content is practical in nature, and combines taught sessions with exercises in which participants apply their learning to key issues including: identifying potential climate change risks and opportunities, scoping for climate risk assessments, identifying potential adaptation measures, and identifying methods and indicators for monitoring and evaluating adaptation actions.

Course content

This course combines and updates the content of our previous 3-day course on mainstreaming adaptation and our 2-day course on adaptation M&E, and replaces these courses from 2019. These courses may still be offered if there is sufficient demand. The new course includes additional material on climate change impacts, transformational and ‘deep’ adaptation, institutional and practical aspects of mainstreaming, and resilience and its measurement. The course takes a pragmatic approach to adaptation, mainstreaming and its relation to economic and social development, and highlights some of the challenges and pitfalls of the mainstreaming approach.

Below is a taste of some of the topics covered over the five days of the course:

  • Global science and policy contexts – the Paris Agreement, temperature ‘targets’ and our prospects for meeting them, key points from IPCC reports and other high-profile studies;
  • Observed and projected changes in climate and past analogues – what can we expect and have we seen anything like it before?
  • Global and regional climate change impacts – how will climate change affect different parts of the world, and what are the implications?
  • Different types of adaptation: incremental versus transformational adaptation – what are they and should the balance be?
  • ‘Deep adaptation’ – a growing area of discussion concerned with how we respond to existential risks from climate change;
  • Adaptation, resilience, vulnerability, adaptive capacity and risk – what do these terms mean and how are they related?
  • Mainstreaming or integrating climate change into planning and development practice – how to do it well, and the dangers of doing it badly;
  • Screening activities for climate change risks and opportunities: the 5 main types of climate change risks associated with development activities;
  • Climate risk and vulnerability assessment – are they different, what do they involve, and how do we do them?
  • How do we decide what adaptation options to pursue? Tools and methods for identifying, prioritising and selecting adaptation measures;
  • How do we know if adaptation is successful? – Monitoring, evaluation and learning for climate change adaptation;
  • Measuring resilience: everyone is talking about it but few are doing it – can we do it, should we do it, and if so, how can we do it?

You can download an indicative programme here and 1-page flyer here.


The course will be delivered by Garama’s Director, Dr Nick Brooks. Nick has a background in climate science, and has worked on issues related to adaptation since 2001, as both an academic researcher (from 2001-2005) and a consultant (from 2005 onwards), establishing Garama in 2012. He has worked with donor and recipient governments (including the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, European Commission, Cambodia and Mozambique), international organisations (including the World Bank, African Development Bank and UNDP), research bodies (including the Universities of East Anglia and Oxford, IIED, ODI, and others) and the private sector (principally with implementers of development programmes), focusing on capacity building, training, mainstreaming, risk assessment and M&E for adaptation. Nick has designed and delivered the Garama training courses since 2013, and has provided professional training for the African Development Bank, the Government of Mozambique, DFID, the Swiss Development Cooperation Agency, the European Commission, ITAD, ODI and a variety of other organisations and programmes. Nick has a research interest in past adaptation to rapid and severe climate change, and what we can learn from previous human responses to such episodes given the likely rapid changes in climate that human societies will experience as the 21st century progresses.


To register for this course, please follow the instructions on our registration page.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to have any knowledge of climate change? No!

Do you offer funding support for attending the course? Unfortunately, we cannot offer funding support for attendance on any of our courses at the present time.

Can you help with visas? We cannot assist with visa applications, but we can provide you with a letter stating that you have been accepted on the course subject to payment of fees. We advise you to arrange your visa well in advance, before payment of any fees, which are due one month before the course date.

What are the language requirements? Participants need to have a good working knowledge of English.

Is the course officially accredited? No, the course does not have any official accreditation, so does not provide you with a formal qualification. However, we do issue each participant with a certificate to prove that they have completed the course, provided they attend all sessions.

Who has attended previous courses? Participants on our previous courses have included individual consultants working in the field of development; employees of the governments of the UK (DFID), Japan (JICA), and Mozambique (Ministry of Communications and Transport); staff from UNDP, the European Investment Bank; and employees of universities and private firms.

(For courses held in Norwich) Where is Norwich and how do I get there? Norwich is in the East of England, 2 hours from London by train. It has an airport, which links to most major routes via Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam (although of course we’d prefer you got here without flying if you can!). You can find more information on travel options, and lots of information about Norwich and the surrounding area, in this booklet that we have prepared for participants. We have also prepared an interactive Google map (at the end of this page) that lists accommodation options, places to eat and drink, and other key locations such as the Garama office and the University of East Anglia (at both of which we hold training events, depending on numbers).

If you have any further questions about the course, please contact us.