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CCAFS Science Meeting Item 02 Ian Christoplos - Institutional Requirements


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CCAFS Science Meeting presentation by Ian Christoplos - "Institutional requirements for adapting to a variable and changing climate"

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CCAFS Science Meeting Item 02 Ian Christoplos - Institutional Requirements

  1. 1. Institutional requirements foradapting to a variable and changing climate Ian Christoplos Danish Institute for International Studies Presentation for the Third Annual CCAFS Science Workshop
  2. 2. Analysing context before searching for solutions• Applying lessons on institutional change from other sectors, e.g., towards good enough environmental governance (drawing on Grindle)• Contextual ”best-fit” instead of ”essentialist” lists• Research’s contribution should build on theoretical perspectives on institutional change before embarking on developing new models• Agricultural extension is a useful vantage point (sentinal?) to consider changing norms and roles
  3. 3. Innovation amid path dependency• Innovation theories (which have explicitly or implicitly guided CC institutional research) are largely forward looking, i.e., understanding how institutions, organisations and individuals adapt and respond to changing conditions• Path dependency is a reminder that the past counts too: ”one damn thing follows another” (David 1985)
  4. 4. Why are institutions path dependent and what are the implications?• Institution building is expensive, discouraging interest in overhauling institutions once they are in place• Impediments are put into place to control and limit reforms that are seen to threaten the status quo• As actors learn about a given “policy style” and decision-making process they tend to feel comfortable with it and resist approaches that question it• Any institutional framework creates a given stream of resources and those benefiting tend to be distrustful of changebased on Campbell 2009
  5. 5. Historical but not deterministic• Path dependency frames responses to change and uncertainty, but agency remains• Old norms/relations/concepts are used to meet new challenges• Institutional bricolage perhaps a better concept, using an existing repertoire in new circumstances• Suggesting that new tools and information are unlikely to be ”implemented” but rather integrated by bricoleurs on the ground
  6. 6. Unpacking labels and making sense• ”Lack of political will and vision”: a black box that recognises but fails to analyse path dependencies• Need to instead understand how people (within organisational processes) make sense of climate variability and uncertainty• In CCA, does institutional change occur due to critical junctures or gradual recognition of emerging challenges? -research priority• We need to suspend judgement and look at empirical evidence to understand these processes
  7. 7. Agricultural extension: A path dependent institution• Climate researchers at best see extension as ”our tool” at worst as a gatekeeper, obstacle or just a problem• But, with a recognition that we may need extension anyway• Symbol of failure and successes due to essentialist methods fixes (T&V, FFS)• Shift to ”best-fit” thinking
  8. 8. Agricultural extension and climate change?• Identity as bearers of modern technological packages• But climate variability demands incentives and capacities to unpack the packages• Relations with research can reinforce lock-in with technology transfer roles• But today’s extension is more about facilitation, brokerage, business advice
  9. 9. How might agricultural extensionists make sense of climate change• Grounded in identity constructionCC implies reconsideration of identities as providers of ‘expert’ knowledgewhen climate variability makes packages based on production protocols ofthe past irrelevant• RetrospectiveDecisions about response to ‘new’ climate related hazards is based on pastexperience with extreme events, as much as innovative response to new ones• Enactive of sensible environmentsNew climate information needs to “make sense” in relation to existing tasksand mandates• SocialSensemaking a social process that takes place within the extensionorganisation as a whole, CC efforts need to be part of that processDrawing on Weick 1995
  10. 10. How might agricultural extensionists make sense of climate change• OngoingRecognition that extension response to CC will not be through ‘projectcycles’ but rather through ongoing iterative processes of learningabout their changing environment• Focused on and be extracted cuesA disaster or repeated crop failures may (or may not) represent “cues”indicating that a critical juncture has been reached; by understandingthe nature of such cues we can better understand what triggers agiven type of response• Driven by plausibility rather than accuracyMore and better climate information and data will not necessarily leadto better decisions; information is instead considered by extensionbased on the implications for different plausible explanations for thephenomena and plausible response scenarios
  11. 11. Climate Change and Rural Institutions• Elements of a preliminary conceptual framework for Climate Change and Rural Institutions• To be implemented by DIIS, in collaboration with national parters in Uganda, Zambia, Nepal and Vietnam 2012-2015