Understanding Sub-National Climate Governance: Findings from Nepal, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia

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Christoplos, Ian
Aben, Charles
Bashaasha, Bernard
Dhungana, Hari
Friis-Hansen, Esbern
Funder, Mikkel
Thi Thanh Huong, Nguyen
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DIIS Report
Understanding the sub-national dynamics of climate governance is critical if individual nations and the global community are to move forward in implementing the COP21 agreement and make effective use of associated global climate funds. One important aspect of this is to understand the institutional conditions and dynamics that influence how sub-national organisations respond to climate change. This includes organisations such as local governments and deconcentrated state agencies that operate at the ‘meso-level’ between the central state and communities, in the administrative spaces encompassing districts, municipalities and provinces. From a strategic point of view, such meso-level organisations are by no means insignificant, and ideally they can play a strong role in supporting households in climate adaptation: They are often responsible for implementing national climate change policies and interventions in practice, while at the same time being accountable to the local population. At the same time, their decisions about how to interpret and implement climate policies in practice have direct and often substantial impacts on livelihoods and the risks faced by climate-vulnerable people. Meso-level organisations inhabit an often opaque ‘twilight’ area between the central state and the community (Lund 2006), where mandates and everyday actions are often open to interpretation and where public authority and ‘reach’ are sometimes fragmented, ambiguous and contested.
Sub-National Climate Governance, Uganda
Christoplos, I., Aben, C., Bashaasha, B., Dhungana, H., Friis-Hansen, E., Funder, M., ... & Thi-Hoa-Sen, L. (2016). Understanding sub-national climate governance: Findings from Nepal, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia (No. 2016: 05). DIIS Report.