Local Institutions’ Role in Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation of Rural Farmers in Semi-Arid Ecosystems in Northern Ghana Using Social Network Analysis
6 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2018
Date Written: July 10, 2018
This paper investigates how local institutions enable farm households to respond and adapt to climate change impacts on their livelihood. A case study of adapting to drought events associated with crop failure in northern Ghana is used to discuss the role of local institutions in enabling adaptation among local farmers. A total of 49 semi-structured interviews with key representatives of various local institutions from different sectors (e.g., agriculture, disaster management, banking, forestry and community development) were conducted to bring out adaptation options provided while about 120 farm households were randomly interviewed to assess their perceptions about their livelihood outcomes and local institutions accessibility. We assessed the local institutions’ accessibility and support using social network analysis (SNA) and descriptive analysis, respectively. The results revealed that local institutions play a key role in farm households’ adaptation by reducing their vulnerability and by building their capacity to respond to climate change impacts on their livelihood. Besides, the classification of local institutions based on their relevance in adaptation has shown a variety of roles among these institutions. While some act as the core of adaptation, others represent either mediators or brokers or resources flow controllers. Knowing the role of local institutions in farm households’ adaptation process and their relevance based classes is a step forward in building their capacity in areas not yet addressed, in ensuring effective resources allocation, but also in avoiding maladaptation, essential for farm households’ adaptation to future change in the climate.
Keywords: Adaptation option, climate change, social network analysis, vulnerability
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