The Coastal Communities Resilience to Climate and Diarrhoea (C2R-CD) project aims to generate long term data series to model the interactions between climatic, hydrological, environmental, epidemiological, institutional and socio-cultural determinants of diarrhoea. The study will focus on communities found along the eastern and central coastline of the country, which are the most vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding incidents. The research will help explore the complexities and dynamics of diarrhoeal diseases under various climatic, social and environmental scenarios towards co-developing innovative and effective resilience solutions in coastal communities. Transdisciplinary processes will be used to engage multi-level and multi-sectoral stakeholders from the beginning to ensure that knowledge generated will be owned by all for better uptake. Training and awareness-raising activities will improve awareness and enhance understanding of climate change impacts on diarrhoea and ways to develop resilient health systems. Knowledge products will be made available to policy- and decision-makers to provide country-specific, evidence-based solutions towards addressing climate related health risks in coastal communities.
The overall goal of the C2R-CD project is to build resilience to climate change and improve diarrhoeal management in coastal communities. To address this goal, the project will address the following key research questions:
- What is the role of the biophysical environment, including climate change, on the incidence of diarrhoea diseases in coastal communities?
- What are the linkages between the epidemiology and environmental determinants of diarrhoea-pathogen transmission in coastal communities?
- What are the demographic, socio-cultural, economic and political barriers and enablers of effectively managing diarrhoeal diseases?
- What are the implications of interactions and interlinkages between the environment, epidemiological situation, and socio-economic factors under various climate scenarios in different coastal communities? How can these be managed in an integrated and sustainable way?
- In what ways can the resilience and health of coastal communities in Ghana be developed and up-scaled to other communities? How can local and national initiatives support these processes in innovative ways?
The specific objectives to achieve these aims are to:
- Assess climatic and non-climatic determinants of diarrhoeal diseases in coastal communities in Ghana and understand how they impact on diarrhoeal transmission.
- Understand the epidemiology and transmission pathways of diarrhoea in coastal communities.
- Assess local governance systems that address climate related extreme events, disasters and disease outbreaks. Assess the capacity of community health systems to manage diarrhoea.
- Develop a probabilistic scenario testing framework for visualization of the complex interactions of the many factors associated with diarrhoea under climate change and climate extreme scenarios.
- Build the capacity of communities in diarrhoea prevention and management, especially in during climate related events e.g. floods. Build capacity of PhD students, research scientists, communities and institutions in conducting transdisciplinary and applied research.
Expected outcomes and outputs
- Gain understanding the dynamics of biophysical and climatic factors on coastal ecosystems to inform diarrhoeal management in coastal communities.
- Strengthened knowledge on epidemiology of diarrhoea on coastal communities.
- Improved knowledge on community based diarrhoeal management and response to climate hazards. Build coastal communities’ resilience to diarrhoea disease management especially in the events of climate variability.
- Strengthen the capacity of project team to undertake advanced data analysis and statistics based on open-source software (e.g. Python); and produce a probabilistic scenario testing framework, which allows visualization by stakeholders of how incidences of diarrhoea may develop under climate change and climate extreme scenarios.
- Strengthened community participation in co-creating knowledge and implementing strategies to address risk of climate hazards and manage diarrhoea in coastal areas.
- Trained researchers in conducting transdisciplinary collaborative research and application of relevant modelling and scenario building tools for predicting climatic effects on diarrhoea
- Acquisition, generation and organization of data on climatic and non-climatic factors impacting diarrhoea disease occurrence and economic and socio-cultural drivers of diarrhoea in coastal communities to inform decision making.
- Mechanism of diarrhoea transmission in coastal communities defined.
- Established information/knowledge on existing institutional arrangements for health delivery within the coastal communities.
- Open-source data platform to enable sharing of data and information.
- Scientific reports, policy briefs and publications.
- Software workflow that allow probabilistic evaluation of diarrhoea incidences under future climate and climate extreme scenarios.
- Visualization routines for dissemination of scenario results.
- Workshops, seminars and conferences contributions.
The project will be implemented through five work packages (WPs):
- WP1 will generate climate related biophysical information.
- WP2 will assess the epidemiological, environmental drivers and transmission pathways issues of the project.
- WP3 will explore the socio-cultural and economic factors and community level institutional arrangements in disaster risk management and diarrhoea prevention and management.
- WP4 will collate and model data generated from WPs 1-3 for scenario predictions to inform disease management.
- WP5 will integrate community participation into the research process and implementation of innovative strategies that will be informed by the various WPs, particularly WP4.
WPs 1-4 will each have 1 PhD student who will be fully supported by the project (tuition and field costs) to build their capacity in the various disciplines covered by this project (Marine Science, Public Health, Environmental Science, and Modelling). The non-academic partner institutions will provide support to the participatory processes with local communities and institutions for knowledge sharing and development of innovative solutions.