Hosting Municipal Officials for a Knowledge Co-Creation Workshop On Climate Change

Following a successful Climate Change Champions Communications & Negotiations Workshop with Civil Society Organisations from the Northern and Western Cape provinces on the  1st to 3rd of November, Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) is hosting a Municipal Knowledge Co-creation workshop in Johannesburg.

The workshop is implemented under The Fostering Inclusive Growth Through Climate Change Champions, known as the “Climate for Growth project”. The project aims to create and support partnerships between local governments, civil society organisations and Independent Power Producers. These partnerships are directed towards collaborating to address some of the challenges that communities face. Through a knowledge co-creation process, the project supports the integration of those challenges into local government and private sector planning and resource allocation. The project is co-funded by the European Union and runs from March 2021 until February 2024 in the Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces of South Africa.

The Municipal Workshop runs at the same time as the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27), where world leaders met to discuss how to effectively tackle the global challenge of climate change. The global and national policy responses place local governments and communities at the forefront of the climate change response. This workshop, therefore, seeks to build relationships with municipalities to develop localised and community-driven climate change response plans.

Since the project’s inception, the team has gained insights into the political landscape in the target municipalities and key stakeholders. This is with a view to supporting local government public participation initiatives, aligning available private sector development opportunities to community needs, and ensuring that available public participation opportunities can be used to facilitate dialogues on climate change impacts while improving relations between local government, civil society actors and Independent Power Producers.

Background to Workshop

The workshop invited participants from each of the target municipalities, comprising staff members working in the areas of Local Economic Development, Environmental Affairs, Independent Development Planning (IDP) office (including those in charge of facilitating public participation), and staff from the office of the speaker responsible for public outreach and education.

Mission and Objectives

  1. Municipality stakeholder’s project onboarding
  2. Understanding desired support in climate change literacy, Communications and Municipal planning
  3. Supporting municipalities in the communications and negotiation efforts with communities and private sector parties
  4. Reflecting on current public participation and relations with Independent Power Producers as well as communities
  5. Climate change decision-making, policy planning and strategic communication training

“The climate change discourse often uses language that alienates grassroots civil society and local government representatives. The knowledge co-creation approach is important because it develops a localised understanding of climate change causes, impacts and effects. This is essential for us to understand how partnership and collaboration can support community resilience, promote development and climate change action.” Mira Dutschke SA Programme Manager

A team of experts has been established to deliver an interactive and participatory programme to co-create knowledge around the roles of local government in ensuring that development and climate change responses go hand in hand.


Mira has 15 years of research, advocacy, capacity building, media production, and programme management experience and has worked across Southern Africa, in Northern Ireland, and the United States. Her work is focused on good governance and community-driven accountability and has covered areas such as children’s rights, human rights-based budgeting, and government spending, extractive industries and environmental rights as well as fundraising and grant. Her work has been published in books, peer-reviewed journals, and popular media outlets. LinkTV, MNet, the UK Guardian, the Mail&Guardian, and others have published her media work. She has an LL.B (bachelor of law) and an LL.M - Masters in International Human Rights law. Mira is passionate about social justice, human rights, and sustainable development and continues to explore new and innovative approaches to bring about positive change.

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