Rain calendars: a tool for understanding changing rainfall patterns and effects on livelihoods

CARE and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) collaborated to pilot the use of an innovative tool for participatory analysis of changing rainfall patterns. The rain calendar tool is designed to gather community perceptions of rainfall patterns, to determine the parameters for good, average, and bad years in terms of rainfall, and to provide a platform for discussing risk management strategies to adapt to changing rainfall patterns. CARE, IISD, and Save the Children UK used the tool on a pilot basis in a collaborative research project in May and June 2009. The project examined the vulnerability to climate change of pastoral communities in the Somali and Borana regions of Ethiopia.