Stakeholder Participation in Climate Change Adaptation Planning
This analytical report offers insight into stakeholder participation and how it is increasingly a key element in modern public administration and decision-making. The report authors respond to a need for more practical guidance on how to integrate stakeholder participation into new and emerging practices, and outlines considerations for full integration of participation into adaptation decision-making processes. The authors developed the content to assist developing country officials, project developers, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) mission staff, and other development practitioners who have the responsibility to design participation processes for adaptation initiatives.
The report notes the importance for detailed record keeping in the decision-making process that will support future engagement and improve trust in the process. Additionally, decision-makers should consider the reason for time investment by the stakeholder, which can range from legal, rights- and duties-based arguments to arguments for equity, efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability. To support transparency in the process, the report suggests that at a minimum all stakeholders should have access to the final decisions made in the adaptation process, the reasons for those decisions, and documentation of the process for those decisions.
Excerpt from the report:
- Climate change introduces greater uncertainty into development pathways and requires more flexibility than business-as-usual does. Stakeholder participation is a critical means of ensuring ownership and quality of decision-making for climate change adaptation. This approach improves long-term sustainability and stakeholder buy-in of climate change adaptation interventions.
- Stakeholder participation is strongest when integrated into existing democratic, accountable decision-making bodies. Many countries have legal requirements for public participation that need to be taken into account when designing climate change adaptation interventions.
- Stakeholder participation can employ a broad range of participatory tools at various stages of the decision-making process. Each format is suited differently to disseminating information, gathering information, and producing decisions. Additionally, many formats are appropriate only for a particular scale of participation.
- Participation is best carried out deliberately, with clear expectations on the part of decision-makers about the scope and scale of participation, and clear expectations on the part of stakeholders as to how their participation will impact decisions.