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MAJI: More Action for Just Initiatives for Climate Change Adaptation in Southern Africa

This page is no longer updated. The information presented here formed part of our previous areas of research. This has included research carried out on behalf of our research partners, commerical contracts and also the Scottish Goverment's Strategic research programme during the period 2011 - 2016.

Scottish Goverment LogoWe have left these pages here to provide background information on our previous areas of research. Further details on the RESAS strategic programme of research (2016-21) will be made available.

Further details on why we archive pages can be found on the following page.

The Shire River in Malawi
Maji is the Bantu word for water and used in most languages in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Rwanda

The James Hutton Institute helps to support effective and equitable water management that will be sustainable in the long-term (and in the face of climate change), through its role in supporting a VSO-led project called “"MAJI" (More Action for Just Initiatives for Climate Change Adaptation in Southern Africa). MAJI ran from late 2014 to 2016.

"Maji" is the Bantu word for water and used in most languages in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Rwanda.  The overall objective of the project is to reduce the vulnerability of the rural poor to climate change impacts in Malawi, by helping them to proactively and collaboratively plan for the future. This builds on a previous project called Water Futures that was also led by VSO and supported by the Hutton.  The project works mainly in Malawi but will also share experiences on this across between Malawi, Scotland, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

The James Hutton Institute’s role is contribute its expertise in participatory scenario-planning methods that allow communities to share and build understanding of how future change will affect socio-ecological systems. This project involves work across the districts of Karonga, Salima and Dowa, working with both district governments and Village Natural Resource Management Committees (VNRMCs).  VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) has been working directly with partners and communities in Malawi for over 40 years. Apart from the VSO and the James Hutton Institute, other partners in this project are - LEAD-SEA (Leadership for Environment And Development - South-East Africa, and CEPA (Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy), SCCAN (Scottish Communities Climate Action Network) and LUANAR (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources).

This work was funded by the Scottish Government, as part of its second round of projects funded by its Climate Justice Fund. This project is part of set of projects with a particular focus on ensuring climate adapted solutions for managing water resources for all, within a framework that addresses the vulnerability of people, particularly the poor, as well as the wider environment. 

To find out more about the James Hutton Institute’s role in this project, contact Kerry Waylen.

News and Outputs

In March 2015, Kerry and Julia Martin-Ortega visited Malawi to deliver a capacity-building workshop in scenario-planning.  Subsequent to this trip, they delivered this report which contains the scenario-planning framework for use and adaptation by MAJI project partners. This report also provides some more information about MAJI and future priorities for work by the project. Click here to download this report.

In March 2016, the MAJI project convened an international knowledge-sharing workshop to share ideas for encouraging communities to plan for the future.  Project participants contributed ideas and experiences from Scotland, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda.  Click here to download the report from this meeting.

In September 2016, the Hutton produced a final report on scenario-planning, that was designed to synthesise ideas and recommendations based on experiences in the MAJI project.  Click here to download this report.

Project Information
Project Type: 
Archived Project


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.