Confronting the consequences of global climate change is the defining challenge of our times. Climate change threatens the wellbeing and development prospects of people, societies, and future generations across the world. As temperatures rise, increasingly volatile weather and the loss of protective natural ecosystems are exposing communities and countries to mounting risks. Climate change will harm infrastructure, food production, livelihoods, and human health. The poorest and most vulnerable, who did little to cause climate change and have little resilience to coming changes, are already being hit hard and have almost no chance of recovery.
The team at Abt Associates in Britain works with partners–including the UK Government through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office–to understand and plan approaches to tackle climate change. We think systemically through options to rebalance our relationship with the environment. We investigate opportunities to transform how land and natural resources are used to produce food and energy. We ask what incentives, policies, markets, education and health systems, and governance structures will help societies–from businesses to the poorest communities–flourish and thrive.
Abt is Committed to Addressing Climate Change
Backed by a global network of partners, we bring together experts with backgrounds in climate finance, global health, governance, economics, law, public policy, and communications. We use our expertise in data and policy analysis, modelling, planning, and adaptive management to deliver cross-cutting, imaginative, evidence-based programmes with impact.
One of the biggest challenges is reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Since 2016, Abt has led Clean Power Asia, to encourage investments in renewable, clean energy sources in the Lower Mekong region of Southeast Asia. This programme mobilised more than US$7 billion in renewable energy investments, delivering nearly 10,000 megawatts of capacity and preventing some 93 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent from being released.
Through the Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience, Abt worked in 32 emerging economies to deliver tools and analyses and facilitate financing to build clean energy capacity. The programme mobilised a total of US$24 million in clean energy loans.
In the land and agriculture sector, Abt works with farmers, resource managers, policy makers, the private sector, and others who play a role in sustainable natural resource management. In Ghana, Abt compared a range of climate-smart production options with business-as-usual farming methods to build a win-win business case for practices that both protected environmental resources and decreased financial risks, all the while delivering improved yields and incomes for farmers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown beyond a doubt the value of good health and the need for strong systems to support it. Governments around the world face the challenge of building health security, delivering essential health care, and maintaining progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals targets.
Abt Associates in Britain helps build resilient health systems. Backed by an established global network, we focus on supporting partners to advance Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and deliver better health outcomes on a sustainable and equitable basis.
Sustainable Financing Underpins Progress on UHC
In Nigeria, Abt worked with federal and state Ministries of Health to engage diverse stakeholders and secure domestic resources for malaria control. In Ethiopia, we helped support resource mobilization and financial protection through expansion of Community Based Health Insurance.
We work at scale to translate plans and resources into improved service delivery, partnering with national and local governments, service providers, and communities. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Abt and its delivery partners have sustained the delivery of essential MNCH and infectious disease control services despite the complex and fragile governance environment.
Since the pandemic began in early 2020, Abt Associates has been involved in multiple aspects of the response, from supporting research for vaccine development to delivering vaccines where they are most urgently needed. Now it will be critical to build back better with improved surveillance, better preparedness, and greater health system resilience.
That has always been part of Abt’s mission. We work with governments and stakeholders on health legislation, policies and plans. This includes providing specialist advice and analysis to develop National Health Accounts or modelling the health benefits of improved air quality.
Adaptive management and putting learning into practice is at the heart of what we do. Abt supported monitoring and learning under the health sector programme in Nepal, has designed and implemented health information systems using DHIS2, and has a pedigree in robust independent evaluation and research.
Governance is about power, politics, incentives, and accountability. It encapsulates the processes by which states, non-state actors, and citizens come together and decide how resources are used and decisions made. Governance reform is central to tackling the underlying causes of poverty, inequality, patriarchy, and the lack of voice in a society.
Abt Associates in Britain knows how to convene different groups to solve complex governance, economic, climate, and service delivery problems. We do this in ways that are realistic, participatory, inclusive, and open. We help partners achieve results, while also building the foundations of more open societies. Unlike other governance providers, we do not see governance as a “narrow” sector, or an expensive, long-term process of state-building that gets “done” to a country. Rather, it is a way of thinking about change that cuts across all the work we do; and that empowers local actors to mobilise their own resources to solve the problems they face.
Our approach to governance builds on the global leadership provided through the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice, which Abt’s Global Lead for Governance founded in 2013. This is complemented by Abt’s pioneering work on Adaptive Management, including a methodology for end-to-end adaptive programme delivery.
Abt is leading the Public Sector Systems Strengthening Activity (PS3+) to promote the delivery, quality, and use of public services, particularly for underserved populations. Abt is working to strengthen Local Government Authority systems to promote inclusive and evidence-based planning and the management and implementation of services across sectors, including health, education, and agriculture.
Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
Abt leads the Good Governance Fund Technical Assistance Facility Eastern Partnerships, which responds to those countries’ national government priorities. This has included strengthening the rule of law through anti-corruption measures and judicial reform; improving public financial management; energy sector reform and decarbonization; more equitable labour regulation; supporting women-owned small and medium enterprises, economic growth, and job creation; conflict mitigation and economic reintegration in Eastern Ukraine; and helping country partners facing current health and geopolitical challenges.
Abt works with decentralised local governments to improve voice and accountability and reduce poverty by improving services and generating economic opportunities for all citizens, including the poor and most vulnerable. The programme has now been implemented in 26 districts across seven provinces, working to support community-level development and diversify employment opportunities.