Climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced, both in its scale and its complexity. While climate change itself is increasingly well understood, its effect as a risk multiplier to existing health, economic prosperity, and equity challenges is more difficult to unpack. Many of our clients are beginning to see their health and development objectives impacted and are seeking new ways to account for the complex intersection between climate change and their strategies.
At one intersection between climate change and health, Camber worked with a large foundation focused on maternal and child health to better understand how food systems and malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa will interact with a changing climate. Our team conducted an extensive review of available research and consulted experts to inform a novel analytical framework to conceptualize the impact of climate change on the food system and health outcomes, and vice-versa. In one direction, this framework unpacked anticipated changes in the Sub-Saharan African climate, their impact on key drivers of food system productivity and stability, and the resulting effects on the nutritional status of populations. Working backward, the framework also examined the ways in which the current food system worsens climate change through greenhouse gas emissions. A subsequent report unpacked a comprehensive analysis of each step in this framework, using the latest research to summarize current and long-term implications for the Sub-Saharan African context.
Through this work, Camber provided the foundation with a map of the intersections between climate and nutrition and a tailored set of prospective opportunity areas for the organization to consider to mitigate both climate change and malnutrition effects. These solutions emphasized the creation of equitable food systems through collaboration, from coalition-based investment at the global level to investing in scalable supply chains and adaptive agro-practices at the community level. These research findings and forward-looking opportunities informed the foundation’s work in both climate and child and maternal health while providing an important bridge for pooled investment between the two programs.