Sharing research findings more broadly – Illustrative and easy to read booklets

Through the recent publication of two booklets, “Rising Waters” and “Cape of Storms,” the research project “The power of collaborative governance in managing the risks associated with flooding and sea-level rise in Cape Town” aims to share its research findings beyond the academic arena. Working together with the project researchers, science journalist Leonie Joubert has built on academic findings to capture information that is accessible for a broader audience. The publications, which provide illustrative and easy to read information, are mainly aimed at practitioners, residents of flood affected areas, civic leaders, government officials and local politicians.

Flooding article pic1 Flooding article pic3

The two booklets focus on two somewhat different aspects of the research findings. “Rising Waters” takes a broad perspective, looking at the effects of winter flooding, mainly in the Cape Flats, in the context of the diversity of challenges facing the City of Cape Town. It argues that one cannot ignore the governance context, and that in order to address the ongoing flooding crises bureaucrats and politicians have to work in collaboration with civil society and community leadership structures. “Cape of Storms” looks at the Cape coastline in more detail, through focus on the interaction between stormy seas, rising sea levels, ecological sensitivity and urban development. It emphasises the need for a holistic approach to coastal policy and management, where institutional and ecological measures for buffering coastal risks should be prioritized ahead of more hard engineering solutions.

The project, and thus the publications, were made possible with funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Department for International Development (DfID), and formed part of the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa programme. The work brought together researchers from the University of Cape Town’s African Centre for Cities, The Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, Centre for Criminology, Geomatics, the Stockholm Environment Institute and officials from the City of Cape Town.

For more project information contact Gina Ziervogel, or look at The publications can be accessed under Resources on the Adaptation Network website (

This article was based on information from the following sources: (news item 12 November 2013)