Rural people with agriculture-based livelihoods are expected to be among the most affected by climate change, and make up a significant portion of the populations of most developing countries. Finding mechanisms for reducing vulnerability to climate change will be crucial for such populations to survive and thrive.

Research has shown that the relationship across sectors and between actors including private, public and civil society determines opportunities for adaptation. Often local institutional settings are key to facilitating adaptation, but can also act as barriers in many cases. This has been documented primarily in the form of cases studies, but little effort has gone into drawing out overarching conclusions from these studies.

This project aims to provide a solid foundation for understanding vital issues that determine how institutions can carry out key functions in assisting resource-poor households reduce their vulnerability to climate change at multiple levels.

Using experiences from case studies in East Africa, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia and Central America, and drawing on literature, the research team will suggest an approach to assess and better understand rural institutions and the linkages to enhancing adaptive capacity and responding to climate impacts.