Collective Intelligence for climate preparedness & Response Mitigating climate change induced conflict between cattle herders and farmers in South Sudan

February 21, 2023

Acc Lab and STARR project colleagues in Turkey at the Collective Intelligence summit for Climate Change

UNDP/Tong Atak


The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) South Sudan Accelerator Lab(AccLab) in partnership with the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience Unit (STARR) is taking a systems level approach to addressing the impact of climate change in South Sudan. Using the collective intelligence principles of citizen science, storytelling, and participatory modeling to unearth innovative and durable solutions to climate induced conflict in South Sudan.  

In the Accelerator Labs exploration of emerging and prevailing themes in South Sudan; flooding induced conflict continues to emerge as a consistent theme year after year. South Sudan’s lack of infrastructure, in combination with pre-existing insecurity, weak governance and the absence of basic services exacerbate already worsening economic, and social instability. These climate compounded vulnerabilities are creating volatile conditions in South Sudan.  

Climate change induced flooding is disrupting the traditional migratory routes of South Sudan’s cattle herders, triggering conflicts with farmers resulting in loss of crops/livelihoods for cattle herders and farmers.  


In April 2019, the UNDP Accelerator Labs Global Team commissioned a Collective Intelligence learning track (design studio) and subsequent research on the value of “Collective Intelligence for Sustainable Development” ( The learning track and research codified the practice of Collective Intelligence deployed by the Network of UNDP Accelerator Labs. UNDP commenced in November 2022 a new Collective Intelligence learning track and research to codify collective learning across multiple contexts with a focus on climate change. South Sudan’s Accelerator Labs is 1 of 15 labs taking part in this new learning track and exploring innovative solutions to the climate challenges in South Sudan. The team is focusing on disaster management, risk reduction, mitigation, preparedness and response.  

The Lab recently spent 5 days in Istanbul Turkey exploring learning loops and creating opportunities for cross-country feedback with 14 other Labs.  

South Sudan's Accelerator Lab is exploring the creation of safe and secure community managed pasture for cattle which should result in the reduction of loss of livelihoods for both cattle keepers and farmers.  

The South Sudan AccLab will utilize the collective intelligence to add value to current country wide initiatives on the management of climate crisis tapping on the combination of existing initiatives on climate early warning, climate risk management, climate-security, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.   

Thanks to UNDP Global Accelerator Lab and Nesta's Center for Collective Intelligence for facilitating collective dialogue and cross-country collaboration in mitigating the impact of climate induced conflict in South Sudan. 

The South Sudan Accelerator Lab is a joint venture supported by the Government of Germany, the Qatar Fund for Development, and UNDP core partners. Learn more about the focus of the South Sudan Accelerator Lab on our website here and here