Lessons from Mainstreaming Climate Change in Namibia
Alignment with stakeholders’ institutional mandates and priority issues opens the door for obtaining their collaboration and support, and for influencing policy and government action. Being responsive to needs, and looking for and seizing windows of opportunity for influencing policy and practice, is fundamental to impact. However, this requires flexible funders and funds, capacity to analyse the governance landscape, and openness to learn and change course. Knowledge products are just one ingredient for evidence to inform decisions and practices. These materials need to be accompanied by continuous awareness-raising to gain sufficient traction at multiple governance levels, as well as a range of effective, regular activities to engage target actors and assist them to pave the way for action. Those who share and ‘broker’ knowledge need to be dedicated, persistent and savvy; have a vast network of strong relationships; and have good convening power to bring together diverse stakeholders across local, regional and national spheres. Their success may, however, unintentionally also lead to them being overwhelmed and burnt out. Continuous engagement by knowledge brokers with actors in the governance system, and being able to build on previous projects’ achievements, relationships and outputs, is key for long-term impact.