As the impacts of climate change intensify, developing countries must implement innovative strategies to adapt to changing climatic conditions and uncertainty. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play a key role in strengthening adaptive capacity. This Brief identifies ICTs' contribution to national adaptation strategies and to specific sectoral adaptations in developing countries. It argues that ICTs provide generic support to the process of information gathering, decision-making, implementation and evaluation for national level adaptation. Specific ICT applications enable delivery of particular adaptational actions for the vulnerabilities that climate change affects including poverty, water, agriculture and food security, human health, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and disaster management among others. The Brief concludes by identifying guiding principles for use of ICTs in adaptation processes, suggesting that their role goes well beyond the use of climate specific applications. The informational, productive and transformational potential of ICT tools must be harnessed and designed with a holistic, integrated view of adaptation; one that looks at the complete 'infosystem' of mobile phones, Internet applications, telecentres and mass media to foster adaptation at the national, sectoral and community levels.
© Higher Education Institute: Climate Change, ICTs & Innovation Project Centre for Development Informatics University of Manchester, UK, 2011