PhD Project Proposal
Comparative analysis of climate change governance: approaches to enhance policy development, coherence and implementation
2. RESEARCH QUESTION
The research aims to determine process and approaches applied in the development of climate change policy and strategy, and to what extend does the national adaptation strategy address the countries challenges.
In the context of South Africa’s urgent socio-economic developmental needs and threatened ecosystem services, adaptive responses that reduce vulnerability to current as well as future climate variability and change are critical and must be implemented. Adapting to changing conditions has occurred at all times, but climate change creates new challenges for individuals, communities, and governments, and adaptation planning to climate change has become more and more important. Despite the need for climate change adaptation actions, adaptation processes are slow to be initiated and implemented, and various factors limit or facilitate adaptation (Amundsen at al. 2010). As the need to adapt to a changing environment is increasingly recognised, who should be in charge? The development of the national adaptation strategy provides an opportunity to assess the key role players, approaches, identify gaps and needs, and the narrative to prepare and respond to climate change.
In this study, we review and analyse the process and approaches followed when developing the national adaptation strategy, we evaluate the various inputs in the process and state of knowledge that built the adaptation strategy. We will also look at the enabling factors such as framing of the NAS, roles and responsibilities, enabling factors, institutional arrangements and capacity.
4. LITERATURE REVIEW
The national adaptation plan (NAP) process was established under the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF). It enables Country Parties to formulate and implement national adaptation plans (NAPs) as a means of identifying medium- and long-term adaptation needs and developing and implementing strategies and programmes to address those needs. It is a continuous, progressive and iterative process which follows a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach. The emphasis on “the NAP process” in the Durban decision and technical guidelines signals several things: (i) An Integrated Approach: The NAP process aims to integrate climate risk into national development planning, policies, and programs; (ii) Country-Specific Solutions: Not all NAPs will produce the same type of plan. Countries each develop a national planning process with outputs tailored to their specific needs; and (iii) Continuity: Medium- and long-term adaptation planning is an iterative, ongoing process, not a one-time activity.
South Africa, like other developing countries, is already finalising the National Adaptation Plan. It is important to understand the policy development process so that it can advocate and address the needed to have an impact on it implementation. Though the need as derived from the international processes, as a country South Africa must identify the need for this policy and advocate for its implementation through the involvement of various stakeholders and partners. Therefore, various approaches will be applied in the formulation, adoption, implementation or evaluation phases of the process. So, what is the framing of the NAS, and what are the critical elements to learn from the policy development process?
As a governance tool to drive adaptation, the NAS must consider and address challenges regarding the barriers or triggers to adaptation, and these specifically identify policies and legal requirements (such as institutional frameworks, financial conditions, available technology, information, awareness, and knowledge as well as external shocks) as factors which either motivate or restrain adaptation action (Amundsen et al. 2010). These factors are relevant at the various levels, as well as on other institutional scales, and are important in initiating adaptation to climate change. The governance approach findings suggest that a combination of both vertical and horizontal approach is needed to overcome barriers and maximize the implementation at different scales. Depending on the anchors of the NAS, it is important to determine the governance approach. Cole (2015) argued that polycentric approaches provide more opportunities for experimentation and learning to improve policies over time, and they increase communications and interactions — formal and informal, bilateral and multilateral — among parties to help build the mutual trust needed for increased cooperation. It is now widely recognised that it is at the local level where vulnerabilities unfold and where adaptation takes place (IPCC 2007), and there has been an increased interest in the role of governance for adaptation (Berrang-Ford at al. 2011). Is there local government authority actions aligned to the NAS objectives?
Adaptation action needs to be taken to improve society’s resilience to climate change (Adger at al. 2005). As a result, climate change policies require cooperation between different parties, and extend across several policy and sectoral planning areas (Fröhlich & Knieling 2013). In this process, the role of state, civil society and economy, as well as forms of coordination and regulation, need to be aligned alongside sector-specific perspectives on varied policy areas and corresponding sectors. Therefore, it emerges that governance of climate change incorporates a multitude of structural and regulatory forms across a variety of different stakeholders (Fröhlich & Knieling 2013). Noting the climate change adaptation governance challenges, it is important to acknowledge adaptation pressures and responses cut horizontally across the ministerial (or departmental) organizations of governments. Adaptation pressures and responses also cut across different jurisdictional levels, from the international via the national to the provincial and local levels of policy-making, this must then address uncertainties by integrating knowledge in decision-making, and involvement of non-state stakeholders and the broader public in the governance of adaptation (Bauer at al. 2012). It is noted that climate change is a multi-dimensional issue and in terms of adaptation numerous state and non-state actors are involved from global to national and local scales (Koch at al. 2007). Constraints relating to capacity, lack of awareness and poor information flow need to be addressed. Climate change is perceived as an important issue although problems such as poverty reduction and job creation remain national priorities. In conclusion, Koch at al. (2007) demonstrated how adaptation challenges the hierarchical way government works and a more collaborative approach to climate change adaptation is needed. Adaptation needs to be mainstreamed and institutional networks need to be strengthened in order for adaptation mechanisms to be effectively implemented.
From the literature above, different approaches, barriers and limits to adaptation have been identified, as well as facilitating factors. However, adaptation to climate change requires national, provincial and local level involvement, thereby necessitating a better understanding from both perspectives to inform policy, research and implementation, resulting in action plans of adaptation to climate change. In this research we investigate the role and responsibilities of provincial and local government in response to NAS, determine their state of preparedness and identify barriers and enablers of climate change adaptation at provincial and local level. This research would improve approaches for mainstreaming and alignment of the NAS, across spheres of government, to enable implementation.
4.1. Knowledge Gap
Climate change adaptation is framed as an issue of national importance, generally deserving of a national adaptation strategy, but at the same time the nature of the climate change adaptation problem is generally framed at the regional (e.g. the Netherlands, Germany) or the local level (e.g. Sweden, Belgium and UK) (Dewulf et al. 2015). Research on adaptation to climate change governance has been undertaken in different ways in accordance with the interests and the methodologies of researchers (van der Sluijs and Dessai 2007, Vink et al. 2014; Crabbé et al. 2015; Massey et al. 2015). Scale framing (Lieshout et al. 2011, 2014). A governance approach to decision-making processes is generally recognized as a democratic process of policy making. Hence there is some literature published about climate governance, but very few studies have been carried out regarding the process of creating climate change adaptation policies from planning to implementation, including defining clear roles and incorporate different perspective of climate change adaptation, such has not been done in South Africa. There are research studies on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change which influence the decision making across various scales, but little attention has been paid to the roles, framing and implementation of the climate change adaptation policies. Therefore it is necessary to investigate the opportunities and barriers for successful adaptation to climate change focusing on the current development of the National Adaptation Strategy, and examine the various roles and framing of adaptation actions in South Africa. To achieve this purpose, I would focus on South African climate change adaptation process as a case study. The South African study is a good empirical case study through which to examine the design, roles and framing of adaptation work, determine the influences and barriers hinders or encourages the effective governance of adaptation decision-making processes. Furthermore, as the development of the NAS is still underway, this study will also examine the enabling factors, such as institutional arrangements and adaptative capacity to support the implementation of national climate change adaptation policies. An examination of governance approaches to climate change adaptation will show the characteristics of the decision-making, role players and processes. This is case specific research, but the findings may apply to other regions and offer some directions as they consider how governance approaches and framing of the adaptation plans, strategies and policies undermines participation of multilevel actors in taking action towards climate change adaptation and may hinder successful climate change adaptation.
4.2. Research aims and questions
In order to fill this knowledge gap, I will investigate how the national adaptation strategy is framed and expressed in the context of participatory and polycentric governance. The key roles players, their inputs and institutional structures that are hindering or helping the governance of adaptation will be examined using primary data (that is, interviewing key roles players in the Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change, and National Committee on Climate Change) and secondary data (documents and literature). These data will help to answer the questions about framing and who has the loudest voice in the climate change adaptation work.
My research aims to investigate and identify how the National Adaptation Plan assist South Africa responds to climate change adaptation, and implementation of actions. This aim will be achieved by addressing the following objectives:
1. To describe and interpret the key components of the adaptation policies in terms of climate change, focusing on the framing and design;
2. To identify the key role players influencing and shaping adaptation policies using a series of interviews with key stakeholders;
3. To explore the ways in which adaptation governance for climate change is framed;
4. To identify what aspects of institutional arrangements and governance approaches are involved in the process of making the national adaptation plan and policies; and
5. To explore and identify adaptive capacity and needs that could influence the implementation of the national adaptation strategy and policies.
4.3. Theoretical framework and conceptualization
The present research question, in general, focuses on various approaches of governance to enable implementation of climate actions. Governance approaches to climate change adaptation may lead to more effective delivery of adaptation measures (Tompkins & Adger 2005; Bulkeley & Betsill 2005; Gustavsson et al. 2009; Adger et al. 2009). Various key role players may enable and facilitate the rapid implementation, whereas undefined governance may lead to erratic and uncoordinated efforts. Successful adaptation begins with deciding the appropriate adaptations for the system. To increase options for adapting to climate change, it is necessary to explore what people want to achieve through the adaptation, what impacts are likely to occur, and how much the society will be influenced by the impacts.
For this process, multiple actors from diverse areas collect opinions and provide knowledge, because a variety of actors across multilevel sectors can produce more alternatives and better methods of implementation. This research will also examine the governance approach- polycentric and adaptative management to strengthen the implementation of the NAS. Polycentric governance is the participation of multiple levels of government in providing a public good (Cole 2011). The concept of polycentric governance assumes an organizational structure where multiple independent actors mutually order their relationships under a general system of rules (V. Ostrom 1972). The necessary conditions for polycentric governance – what Vincent Ostrom refers to as a compound republic – include “polycentricity in the organization of (1) market arrangements; (2) the legal community; (3) constitutional rule; and (4) political conditions selection of political leadership and formation of political conditions.” Polycentricity is relevant to the discourse on post-governance. The premise is that modern societies embody institutional diversity reflected in multi?level, multi-purpose, multi-sectoral, and multi-functional units of governance. Multi-level governance – local, provincial, national, regional, and global – is necessary to deal with the different scales of market and government failures.
The growing diversity of preferences and local conditions has led to the emergence of cross?jurisdictional governance units such as economic zones, tribal districts, school districts, water districts, charter cities, autonomous governments, trade and monetary zones, among others (Araral & Hartley, 2013). A system that is purely hierarchical, with lower levels of government simply carrying out orders from those at higher levels, is not substantially polycentric, as that term is utilized in the literature. Rather, polycentric governance requires a certain level of independence, as well as interdependence, between governance institutions and organizations at various levels. The key issue—applicable to climate policy as much as to other areas of global or international concern—is to determine the appropriate division of responsibility and authority between governance institutions and organizations at global, national, state, and local levels.
There are different ways to frame the scale of the climate change adaptation issue, which are linked to different approaches to institutionalize and address climate change adaptation in the governance system (Vink et al. 2014; Crabbé et al. 2015; Massey et al. 2015). Climate change adaptation is framed as a global issue that needs to be addressed collectively, at various levels, and where some countries (e.g. industrialized countries) have responsibilities toward other countries (e.g. developing countries) for addressing the impacts of climate change. The concepts of governance and governance systems, vulnerability and collective learning are in the centre of focus for they help explaining how collective learning processes can be detected and understood within the following case studies.
4.4. Enabling environment for climate change adaptation
Mthethwa (2012) noted that policies are influenced by the contexts in which they are developed. Such contexts include historical, cultural, social, economic and diverse conceptual dimensions operating at international, regional, country and local levels (spheres). These forces influence policy development as well as policy implementation. Furthermore, Bhuyan et al. (2010:1) discuss three important reasons why assessing policy implementation is crucial. Firstly, it promotes accountability by holding policy-makers and implementers accountable for achieving stated goals and by reinvigorating commitment. Secondly, it enhances effectiveness because understanding and addressing barriers to policy implementation can improve programme delivery. Lastly, it fosters equity and quality because effective policy implementation can establish minimum standards for quality, promote access, reduce inconsistencies among service providers and regions, and thus enhance quality. What enabling environment is required to implement climate change provisions? What is the desired state to facilitate the implementation of climate change provisions?
5. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
To achieve the study objectives, various tools and methodologies will be applied, these include Policy Process Analysis, Interviews with key stakeholders, and collection of documentary for evidence and analysis. The Policy analysis and evaluation form together the final step in the policy process and are the functions and skills which are used to analyse existing policy and to determine the value and usefulness of such policy. The aim is to establish whether the NAS and its resultant activities and services would be effective and efficient in promoting adaptation to climate change. What is the focus area of the NAS? To analyse the interrelated processes of policy formulation and implementation, six basic steps for policy process analysis have been proposed (Blaikie & Soussan 2001), as follows:
1. Key Policy Milestones
2. Political and Governance Contexts
3. Key Policy Issues and their Relation to a Livelihoods Approach
4. Policy Development Process
5. Outputs, Outcomes and Impacts for Livelihoods
6. The Future – a Longer Term View
It can thus be deduced that policy analysis and evaluation could lead to innovation. This can help to identify threats and opportunities for the development of the policy and its implementation and may even help in its further development. However, policy can be changed without being innovative.
5.1. Policy analysis process
Policy analysis is a technique used in public administration to enable civil servants, activists, and others to examine and evaluate the available options to implement the goals of laws and elected officials. Policy analysis is a systematic evaluation of the technical and political implications of alternatives proposed to solve public problems. Policy analysis refers to both the process of assessing policies or programs, and the product of that analysis. The process of developing public policy is an activity that generally involves research, analysis, consultation and synthesis of information to produce recommendations. It should. involve an evaluation of options against a set of criteria used to assess each option. This focuses on the actions taken by government — its decisions that are intended to solve problems and improve the quality of life for its citizens.
What are the key narratives coming from various inputs?
What key agendas were key in shaping the NAS – resilience, development, etc
Key question: to what extend is the NAS a pro-development? To what extend does the NAS address resilience, vulnerability, development??
5.2. Data Analysis
5.3. Data collection for the NAS
• Status Quo of Adaptation
• Documentary Documents- Comments
• Scoping Documents
6. REVIEW OF SOUTH AFRICA’S ADAPTATION RESPONSE PATHWAY LEADING TO THE NAS
• History of South African Adaptation
• How did we get to the National Adaptation Strategy?
• WHAT PROCESSES LED TO THE ADAPTATION STRATEGY?
• Identification of key risks (similar or different structure)?
• What is the evidence based on?
• What are the adaptation priorities?
• Who is responsible for what- responsibilities- governance arrangement?
• What are the needs and gaps- critical resources?
• Who delivers on the adaptation strategy?
7. FRAMING OF THE NAS
In 2011, South Africa developed the National Climate Change Response Policy as a guideline for response to climate change, focusing on mitigation, adaptation and monitoring and evaluation. The NCCRP led to the development of various climate change initiatives involving various sectors, stakeholders and spheres of government, including private sector and civil societies, all in the effort to transition to a lower carbon economy and climate resilient society. While the mitigation leg was long implemented and supported by the Long-Term Mitigation Scenarios (LTMS), Adaptation work took longer and required concerted effort from various sectors, water, human settlement, agriculture, biodiversity and rural development. These developments led to the implementation of the Long-Term Adaptation Scenarios (LTAS) which provided the impacts, vulnerability and adaptation options for various sectors. Increasingly, various sectors started to develop, integrate and review their adaptation policy, then climate change adaptation was added to the policy agenda and discussion at various platforms. Following such progress, was the development of the National Adaptation Strategies (NAS), as a strategic guidance to lead the adaptation work beyond NCCRP and the Paris Agreement. This chapter reviews the framing and design of the NAS. The analysis will focus on the following:
i. Aims and objectives of the NAS,
ii. Pillars, anchors of the NAS – innovative, transformative and transgressive
iii. Factors motivating and facilitating the development of a national adaptation strategy.
iv. Scientific and technical support needed for the development and implementation of such a strategy.
v. Information, communication and awareness-raising of the adaptation issue.
vi. Governance approach and roles of stakeholders
vii. Integration and coordination with other policy domains.
viii. Implementation of the NAS
ix. Monitoring and evaluation of the NAS.
8. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT – IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NAS AT PROVINCIAL LEVEL
• Analysis of the responbilities in the NAS,
• Capabilities of the Provincial Level required for the NAS-
• Generation of the SANAs
• Comparison of other national adaptation strategy
• Implementation challenges
9. LOCAL GOVERNMENT, COOPERATE GOVERNANCE and INTEGRATION
• What’s happening and what needs to happen?
• Who is responsible?
• Identify areas of capacity needs and what are the gaps?
• What structures must be in place to enable implementation?
• Analyze capacity to explain why some actions are being implemented, whereas others not?
• Capacity survey – Is capacity a factor in implementing adaptation action from the Let’s Respond Toolkit?
This chapter presents a critical review of role of local government in the context of the national adaptation plan. The role of local government is highlighted as significant within the National Climate Change Response Policy (2011) and it is recognized that the national government must work in partnership with provincial and local municipalities and communities to effectively respond to the impacts of climate change. This chapter reflects on the characteristics of institutional arrangements required to support the implementation of the national adaptation plan. The analysis will review the local government climate change adaptation activities following the NCCRP and provide recommendations on the effective form of adaptive and integrative governance to support the NAS. The analysis draws from recent literature, government reports, as well as qualitative data from interviews with local government contacts. The analysis will further provide guidance in the significant role of local government in responding to climate change impacts, and highlights potential role of local government in addressing adaptive capacity at the local government and community scale.
10. COMPARISON WITH OTHER DEVELOPING, DEVELOPED ADAPTATION STRATEGIES, and NAPs
• Aims and Techniques
• World Bank, UNFCCC, Institute for development studies, ODI
• Comparison or summary of national adaptation strategy
• What are the gaps in the national adaptation strategies
• Understanding what other people have done- their comments on the adaptation strategies
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