Chapter 17: Local adaptation governance: examining power relations
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This chapter examines dynamics of local adaptation governance, with a particular focus on the role of power relations in shaping outcomes. Applying a political economy approach to Kenya, the authors find, first, that many adaptation initiatives originated and were driven by external actors, with limited local initiative and ownership. Second, there were considerable differences in how actors perceived what adaptation to climate change meant, and their motivations for why it mattered. Third, integration of adaptation in local governance structures were predominantly happening in a somewhat mechanistic and superficial way. All these factors limit the potential for transformative adaptation governance. The Kenya case thus illustrates the need for deeper engagement with the politics of adaptation governance at the local scale, where the framing, processes and outcomes are shaped by a combination of national government steering, local government politics, and non-government actors.

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