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Adaptation and development funding in Isiolo county

A pilot ‘climate adaptation fund’ has been designed to support community prioritised adaptation investments. The project is testing a structure for ‘bottom-up’ adaptation and development planning. Funded initially by DfID, it is anticipated that the fund will be taken over by the newly formed County Government after the pilot phase IIED was invited to form a partnership with the Ministry of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands to mainstream climate change into devopment in Kenya’s ASALs. Other project partners include the Ministry of Planning, NDMA, Kenya Meteorological Dept., Geodata Institute (UK) and the Resource Advocacy Programme. The fund will become operational in April 2013.

A range of tools were used to design the fund structure, develop funding criteria, and build the capacity of ward and county committee members. The core tools or approaches were based around building a ‘shared learning dialogue’ between local people, local government and other stakeholders around climate adaptation, resilience, harmonising planning and using climate information. Specific methods used were: resilience assessments, community resource mapping, seasonal forecast workshops, total economic valuation (TEV), and future scenario planning.

Key Messages

We await outcomes from the first round of ‘public good type’ adaptation investments on which to base recommendations but early lessons learned include:

  • Basing adaptation planning on local strategies and innovations has the advantage that it has community support, is more likely to be sustainable and is based on what is already working in a given context.
  • Drylands people are best placed as ‘entrepreneurs of adaptation’ to exploit the specific dynamics of drylands environments.
  • Working in partnership with local and national government improves the prospects of project sustainability and successful articulation with national level policy processes.
  • Building local government capacity is key to developing an adaptation planning process that is based on local priorities. International NGOs should not aim to provide services in parallel with government- they should develop capacity and phase out their implementation role.

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