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Case studies on adaptive capacities of local institutions

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani 2nd April 2012 23:36

Institutional capacities at local levels play a crucial role in shaping adaptation. In the past, local institutions have shaped how rural communities respond to environmental challenges. Strong institutional mechanisms will be crucial for adaptation, and the impacts of future external interventions. Adaptation to climate change will take place at local levels; therefore, it is critical to understand the role of local institutions, and their levels of adaptive capacity, in dealing with climatic and non - climatic changes. It is also important to examine local governance structures, the interface of public, private, and civic organizations, and their impacts on local livelihoods and coping strategies.

The Hindu Kush Himalayan nations have already adopted National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) to climate change, and in some countries Local Adaptation Programme of Action (LAPA) are also being prepared. This discussion paper uses evidence that currently, climate change adaptation issues are poorly integrated in national development strategies, and in sectoral policies and plans, and there is an inadequate quality of service delivery on the ground. In other words, measuring adaptive capacities of local institutions needs to be integrated for future investments and interventions for shaping adaptation, improving capacities of vulnerable and social groups, and linking them to sectoral and national plans.  

A review of case studies conducted by ICIMOD indicates the importance of institutional analysis and arrangement (adaptive capacity) at local level, which is also the key in designing adaptation plans at various levels and sectors.  

Contact information

Rajan Kotru (, Navraj Pradhan