Climate change and health are intertwined, with climate and health resilience often manifesting through the efficacy and accessibility of public health systems. With the increasing impacts of climate change and climate variability being felt globally, not least in South Africa, assessing the health sector’s risk and vulnerability (R&V) to climate change becomes more urgent, to inform and strengthen a range of health department programmes and activities. This assignment builds on previous work carried out in scoping and developing the Climate Change and Health Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (CCHRVA or HRVA) tool, and it aims to undertake an HRVA for the health sector across the country.
The assignment took place over two phases, with work in Phase 1 focused on reviewing and updating the HRVA tool, to make it more user-friendly and targeted in a manner that supports the needs of the users. Phase 2 focused on undertaking an HRVA for the Health Sector. Participatory analysis (in both phases) supported the refinement, development, and completion of the tool, with training workshops carried out in key geographic areas that are representative of 52 districts, that in addition, capacitated key stakeholders in the use of the tool.
Rigorous data collection and management supported the development of the HRVA, with other elements of the strategy to deliver this assignment being: climate scenario development; participatory and capacity development; co-research and analysis; tool updating; and synthesis analysis.
The HRVA carried out under this study provided a critical opportunity, not only to update the HRVA Tool, but to engage stakeholders in the sector, around the nexus of climate change, health, and livelihoods. The deep engagement of the stakeholders during the workshops suggests that their commitment to addressing the additional challenge of climate change in the sector will be sustained.