Governing Adaptation Finance for Transformation, GAFT

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Start date: 1 August, 2021 End date: 31 July, 2025 Project type: Research collaboration projects in Danida priority countries (Window 1) Project code: 20-03-DIIS Countries: Kenya Tanzania Thematic areas: Agricultural production, Climate change, Urban development, Lead institution: Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Denmark Partner institutions: Kenyatta University (KU), Kenya Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), Tanzania Project coordinator: Esbern Friis-Hansen Total grant: 11,999,997 DKK

Project summary

Citizens in the Global South are increasingly being affected by climate change hazards. In addition, with inadequate support, the most vulnerable are often left to tackle their adaptation efforts alone. Recent studies have shown that only 10% of public adaptation finance was used at local levels between 2003-2016. Instead, 90% of funds were either not distributed for adaptation activities, were used for administration in centrally managed projects, were over-reported or were otherwise lost during the transfer process from national to local institutions. This indicates that there exists a gap between who controls the funds and who the activities are supposed to benefit. Adaptation funds are therefore not spent in the most relevant and cost-effective manner.
GAFT tackles the problem by asking what causes this gap, and what are its specific repercussions. Our hypothesis is that if larger shares of governance for adaptation finance is devolved, so that decisions are taken closer to implementation levels, then the distribution of funds become less skewed, although devolution alone may not necessarily alleviate political conflict and produce solutions better fitted to local conditions.
Thus, GAFT analyses how structures of decision-making influence the way finance for adaptation is distributed and implemented. The research programme compares Tanzania and Kenya that generally represent a centralized and a decentralized system for managing adaptation finance. GAFT consists of 14 researchers from institutions in Denmark, Kenya and Tanzania, collaborating on the 3 legs of the programme: First, to map the flow of financial resources allocated to implementing institutions for adaptation activities in Kenya and Tanzania. Second, to explore the influence of the socio-political context. And lastly, to build sustainable North-South-South partnerships with capacity to support future research on adaptation finance and make policy recommendations for how they may become transformative.

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