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Social Dimensions of Climate Change Learning Module

OverviewSDCC Learning in Focuse-Learning ModuleTraining Sessions


The social dimensions of climate
change perspective contributes to
a more holistic analysis of the impacts
of climate change on human and social

The SDCC Learning Module aims to increase understanding of climate change vulnerability; strengthen participation, accountability, and social justice in climate governance; and enable development partners to build socially inclusive, climate resilient policies and operations into their work.

Users are invited to explore how a social perspective can inform climate change policy at the global, national and sub-national levels and enhance understanding of political economy aspects of climate change impacts. The key role of public and civil institutions in mobilizing local social capital and crafting long-term sustainable development policies features prominently in this course.

What is SDCC Learning Module?

The Social Dimensions of Climate Change (SDCC) Learning Module is designed to change our perspective on climate change from one that focuses on science and ecosystems, to one that puts social and human systems at the forefront of our analysis. This new perspective has wide-ranging implications for diagnostics, process, policy and instrument design as well as substantive outcomes.

This new perspective has wide-ranging implications for diagnostics, process, policy and instrument design as well as substantive outcomes. Our aim is to improve understanding of the drivers that shape vulnerability and enhance ability to promote adaptive capacity and spur climate resilient sustainable development.


The learning module is a highly flexible tool able to address the learning needs of multiple audiences at different points in time. Specifically, the module is available in three different formats:

  • Face-to-face lectures have been ongoing since March 2009. These are designed in collaboration with partners, focus on specific themes and are tailored for the particular needs of diverse stakeholder participants.
  • E-learning, which is accessible on any desktop via the Social Dimensions of Climate Change Team’s website from January 2010.
  • Webinars, will be organized periodically to concentrate on specific complex social responses to climate change.

All formats feature a variety of participatory learning tools to engage the participants in the module; ensure that they retain as much information as possible; and enable them to contribute their own experience and expertise.

Our Goals

  1. Enhance understanding of vulnerability and resilience
  2. Demonstrate the operational and instrumental importance of equity
  3. Recognize that climate change policy can have co-benefits with sustainable development or negative social impacts
  4. Stress the importance of governance in framing our response to climate change
  5. Engage with a variety of tools and methods that contribute to better policy responses

SDCC Learning Module's Three Components

SDCC Learning Module's Three Components

The module contains three substantive components:

  1. First principles: understanding vulnerability, equity and resilience
    This first component looks at the complex social responses caused by climate change and examine concepts of vulnerability, equity and resilience. In doing so it attempts to reshape analysis of global warming and through this changed diagnosis build capacity to prepare better policy responses.

  2. Pro-poor climate policy: from vulnerability to resilience through sustainable development
    The second component looks at the climate change policy building blocks (mitigation, REDD, adaptation, technology, and finance) and determines what can be done to ensure these policies have co-benefits with sustainable development. Good governance is presented as the key to sound climate policy with specific emphasis on working across scales and implementing key governance principles.

  3. Methodologies and toolkits: operationalizing the social dimensions of climate change
    The third component presents a number of analytical frameworks / tools that can be used as entry points for understanding vulnerability and building better policies.

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