Multilevel stakeholder influence mapping in climate change adaptation regimes

The extent to which any policy, planning, or funding frameworks aimed at supporting climate change adaptation contribute to improved adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers is strongly affected by the power/influence dynamics between actors within those regimes. Power and influence studies have renewed relevance due to the current proliferation of adaptation initiatives. As these initiatives evolve, they bring up questions of equity, justice, and fairness surrounding the origins and distribution of adaptation resources. In doing so, they have shed light on persistent inequalities in status quo development regimes and asymmetrical power balances between stakeholders. To avoid exacerbating inequalities that contribute to conflict, perpetuate cycles of poverty, and prevent much needed resources from reaching vulnerable communities, it is essential that practitioners seek to make power/influence relationships transparent within any given adaptation regime. Exposing and characterizing these relationships is complex, sensitive, and involves multiple perspectives. This paper introduces the Multilevel Stakeholder Influence Mapping (MSIM) tool, which aims to assist analysts in the study of power dynamics across levels within climate adaptation regimes.