Climate Change and Rural Institutions

Project summary

The research will investigate how district level government, agencies responsible for managing natural resources, agricultural advisory services and farmer organisations in Africa and Asia are responding to climate change. Such "meso-level" organisations mediate between national adaptation policies and programmes and efforts underway in communities. However, little is known about how and to what extent such institutions themselves respond to climate change, and if/how they are moving toward an enabling institutional environment to address climate change. The programme will address the knowledge gap that currently exists about the interface between national policy and individual/ community level adaptation efforts by focusing on the factors and processes in meso-level (district) institutions that variously stimulate change and innovation, or constrain or block such adaptation to climate change.    


Project Completion Report:

The project had two overall objectives to:

1. Provide national and international decision-makers with evidence-based analyses of the meso-level implications of pro-poor climate change adaptation policies and practice.

2. Improve analytical insight and theoretical understanding of the role of meso-level institutions in local adaptation to climate change and risk; including to improve understanding of the factors and processes that influence local adaptation to climate change and rural institutional bricolage

Underlying these objectives were a set of the research questions as follows:

1. What is the contextual setting influencing innovation among meso-level institutions?

2. How and to what extent are adaptation measures reflected in the frameworks and practices of meso-level institutions?

3. What are the processes and drivers of meso-level institutional bricoalge in response to Climate Change?

4. What are the impacts of meso-level institutional change on local governance of climate change adaptation?

Publication and presentation output targets were greatly surpassed as described above. The process of producing these publications, with mentoring and coauthoring by DIIS researchers, was at the core of the programme’s approach to capacity development. Furthermore, these publications have greatly enhanced the status and credibility of research partners in the four countries among national researchers, in international fora, and most notably among policy-makers. As such, these outputs have directly contributed to both overall objectives, i.e., contributing to both the policy and research discourses.

The programme has engaged extensively with meso levels stakeholders, as described under communications. Furthermore we have organised two research conference panels, have organised a number of DIIS seminars and participated actively in discussions with both researchers and policy makers in the 4 programme countries and in Denmark regarding meso level response to climate change and extreme climate events.


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