Governing Adaptation Finance for Transformation, GAFT


Start date: 1 August, 2021 End date: 31 July, 2025 Project type: Research projects in countries with extended development cooperation (earlier 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 website: go to website (the site might be inactive) 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.


First year report
The Governing Adaptation Finance for Transformation, GAP, research program involves 16 researcher from Kenya, Tanzania and Denmark. First task was to advertise, interview and employ four PhD students in Kenya and Tanzania. We had more than 50 qualified applicants and four good PhD students were employed. After three month the Kenya team organized a start-up week long workshop in Katumani County with participation of 14 researchers. Conceptual framework and research plans were discussed and partnership with members of Katumani County was established.

First visits to fieldwork sites in Tanzania (Arusha) and Kenya (Turkana) was carried out in February and March.

Work Package 1 (finance) carried out two national and one comparative studies of financial flow of adaptive finance from national to local government analyzing OECD database and National budget data. A panel was organized at the DSA conference July 2022, where the three papers were presented.

Two Tanzanian PhD students listed Denmark in May 2022 and participated in methodology PhD course at KU. In July the PhD students presented their enhanced PhD narrative for the research committees and Dar es Salaam and Kenyatta University and were all cleared to start fieldwork. A fifth PhD student from Kenya, who had been affected by DIFID budget cuts was included in the project.

Monthly TEAMS meetings was held through out the year for the whole research team. Other TEAMS meetings were a held as required by sub groups.

Go back to all projects