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Architesh Panda, Upasna Sharma, K.N. Ninan and Anthony Patt

It is important to identify the factors influencing adaptive capacity among households within a community, as doing so will enable effective targeting of government interventions to address the risks posed by climate change. In this chapter the authors study such factors using household survey data collected from a drought prone region of Orissa, India. In the survey respondents were asked about the adaptations that they had engaged in to deal with the risk of drought, as well as a number of indicators for adaptive capacity taken from the literature. The study found many indicators to correlate with one or more adaptations taken. However, many of these indicators, while increasing the likelihood that one adaptation would be taken, also decreased the likelihood that another would be taken, and hence were not unambiguous determinants of greater adaptive capacity in general. Access to crop insurance was found to be particularly effective: it correlated with an increased likelihood of engaging in two separate yield-raising adaptations. The results suggest that further attention to crop insurance may be warranted, as well as further research to determine if the other indicators may be effective in other contextual settings.