Policy process for climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector a case study of tanzania
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Policy Process for Climate Change Adaptation in the Agricultural Sector: A case study of Tanzania. By Kassim Kulindwa, UDSM, Tanzania /Noragric, UMB, Norway. Outline. Introductory background Framework for policy processes analysis for climate change adaptation

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Policy Process for Climate Change Adaptation in the Agricultural Sector: A case study of Tanzania.

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Policy Process for Climate Change Adaptation in the Agricultural Sector: A case study of Tanzania.


Kassim Kulindwa, UDSM, Tanzania /Noragric, UMB, Norway


  • Introductory background

  • Framework for policy processes analysis for climate change adaptation

  • Experiences form implementation in Tanzania

  • Prospects for policy adoption; a multiple target engagement approach

  • Conclusions

Introductory background

  • Background

    • We note that climate change is on the agenda of many developing nations currently

    • We also note that more research is being done on climate change with the aim of feeding to policy and influence behavioural change

    • However, we also note that there exists a gap between research and policy

      • Evidence translation into appropriate policies is partial and slow particularly in developing countries(Morten Anserud et al, 2005). So many good research output gathering dust on shelves without getting a chance to inform policy!

Context: Nature of policy processes

  • Linear process

    • The conventional policy making approach is represented by a linear process with stages which rational decisions are taken by omnipotent government authorities i.e. policy makers

      • Assumption is that they use researched evidence.

    • The earlier policies of 1970s and 80s were thought to be national, but in reality were government policies because they represented the sector at the national level but not by the way they were formulated and whose interests they represented

Nature of policy processes

  • Non linear process

    • Policy development processes are complex protracted & non linear with a multitude of actors and interests some of which counteract.

      • Have greater chance for evidence based dialogue

    • Post 1980’s the top down approach of policy making has been replaced by participatory approach with the civil society represented by NGOs (local and international), CBO, the private sector and others make their voices heard

Non linear process

  • The National Land Policy which took 5 years , while its bill took 10 years to prepare and get accepted in 2005.

    • Main actors included NGOs for gender equality& pastoralists’ rights, academics, government and donors whose participation was not so explicit .

  • The other example is the NGO policy which took about 5 years to prepare while the bill took only 1 year to be developed and passed.

    • Actors involved included Donors, NGOs, international institutions and the government


  • Share experience of how gap between research and policy could possibly be bridged

    • Through learning from a case study done in Tanzania in collaboration with IDS –University of Sussex through funding from IDRC

Conceptual Framework: Three lenses approach

  • Narratives/discourse: how are research and policy narratives framed, and how are research messages communicated, considered and reframed?

  • Politics and interests: what are the power relations, dynamics and incentives for policy, and what causes something to stick in people’s minds?

  • Actors and institutions: what networks, organisations, norms, individuals and champions are involved, formally and informally?

  • This approach aims to uncover where the historic and future “Agents , drivers of change”and policy spaces that influence policy around climate adaptation in the agricultural sector

Narratives and Discourse

Analytical lenses

Politics and interests

Actors and institutions

Framework for policy process analysis

Three Lenses Approach (IDS 2006)

What are policy spaces

  • These are avenues by which different actors may use to influence policy. There are a number of policy spaces including

    • Popular spaces

      • for awareness creation through public meetings

    • invited space

      • When a proposer is invited to present their ideas to interested and influential group,

    • Political spaces (parliament etc)

Policy spaces cont...

  • Practical spaces

    • E.g. Farm Field Schools in the study area

  • Bureaucratic space

    • Interaction with the government and agencies

  • Conceptual spaces

    • academic fora mainly

  • Discursive spaces

    • where new ideas and framings are introduced into debate, and circulated through various media

Experiences from implementation in Tanzania

  • Premise of study:

    • “Risk management, reduced vulnerability and agricultural productivity in Tanzania”

      • conducted by SUA researchers through participatory action research (PAR) funded by IDRC

      • Study area in Same District, Kilimanjaro region

      • 3 sites covering low , middle and highland – In Usamabaras (semi arid with chronic food shortages)

      • Established farmer field schools for researching on farming technology options

Study Implementation Process

  • Identified and analysed Actors’ roles and their position in terms of CC adaptation and their policy spaces

  • Reviewed narratives by these actors and what the counter narratives were

  • Looked at existing Politics and interests in CC adaptation in agriculture

    • Do they facilitate or impede adaptation?

Stakeholder analysis

  • Identified stakeholders include:

    • Farmers, District Agricultural officers, DC, RC, TMA (district and national),

    • Government: Environment Management Unit –MAFC, Food Security Directorate – MAFC, Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MOWI), VPO – Division of environment,

    • International Organisations: FAO – Tanzania Office, World Bank, UNDP etc

    • NGO’s: WWF – Tanzania Programme Office, SAIPRO etc and the PAR Researchers

Stakeholders/ actors analysis

Stakeholders/ actors analysis

Actor roles and policy spaces

Actor roles and policy spaces

Actor roles and policy spaces

Narratives, politics and interests

  • Government.

    • subscribe to the discourse of Climate Change

      • Climate change is real and has huge impacts to vulnerable developing countries – President Kikwete Oct. 2009

    • Agriculture is the backbone of the economy (NAP 1997)

    • Agriculture is the largest employer. 75% of population dependent on subsistence agriculture- (NAP 1997)

Narratives, politics and interests

  • District commissioner

    • Eager to be part of the solution to a long standing food deficit situation hence raise his political capital

  • Constituency MP also Deputy Minister for Agriculture.

    • Supportive for obvious reasons of being an MP and a government minister

Narratives, politics and interests

  • Central government

    • Avert catastrophe due to CC, ensure food security and reduce poverty

  • Local Government

    • Opportunity to solve the food shortage problem through the project

Narratives, politics and interests

  • NGOs are pro adaptation narrative

    • Climate change adaptation vital to vulnerable communities to avert food insecurity – SAIPRO

  • Their interests are

    • seeing their role and efforts in supporting rural communities achieve food security through adaptation, result into positive outcomes

Narratives, politics and interests

  • Farm input suppliers also subscribe to

    • Climate change is detrimental to business and agriculture e.g. Uncertainty of input supply time

  • Farm input suppliers

    • Looking to benefits from the adaptation project and proposed policy by selling more inputs in time and stocking the right/recommended inputs

Narratives, politics and interests

  • Communities

    • See Climate change impact is devastating to their livelihoods and wellbeing-failing crops

  • Communities interested in

    • Reduced vulnerability to changing climate by increasing their agricultural output

      • Seen as potential project outcomes

Narratives, politics and interests

  • Counter narratives to agriculture adaptation to climate change as discussed earlier

    • We did not identify counter narratives to the agric adaptation to CC, nor actors whose interests would be threatened by CC adaptation, we however identified sceptics who thought adaptation funds for developing countries may not be forthcoming!

    • Others wondered whether at the household level adaptation could be anything different from the coping strategies used by farmers in times of droughts and floods, is it anything new?

Prospects for policy adoption

  • The process has so far achieved a number of outcomes at different levels including

    • A collaborative working relationship has been established between TMA, District agricultural extension officers, NGO, Traditional weather forecasters, Input providers to provide a timely weather information and farming advice brochure and distribute it to farmers in the district

Prospects for policy adoption

  • The Same District council facilitated by the PAR researchers has established a decision making forum (DMF)

    • Housed at the district council comprised of farmers, weather forecasters (traditional and scientific), input suppliers, agricultural extension officers, NGOs, making decisions on information on weather forecasts and advice on farming timing, crops and inputs

Prospects for policy adoption

  • District commissioner to include the DMF operation in district budgeting process

  • Invited the district weather forecaster (TMA) to be a member of the full council-highest policy body,

  • TMA is working to document Indigenous Knowledge to scientifically correlate it with weather parameters

  • Farmers in the project area are experimenting with knowledge obtained from the project.

  • Prospects for policy adoption

    • Further engagement of the actors earlier identified who are important avenues for policy process should be undertaken e.g.

      • Development Partners Forum through FAO

      • Agriculture Sector Consultative Group through Director of Policy and Planning MAFC

      • Inter-Ministerial Technical committee through VPO Environment

      • Active citizens and Public through Policy Forum


    • Framework very useful for understanding the policy landscape through identification of interests and relevant narratives and counter narratives, actors and therefore policy spaces i.e. How to navigate the policy process.

    • It is important to target different levels for influencing change and not only the top brass

    • Robustness of research evidence is important to convince and influence policy makers and other actors’ thinking and behavioural change

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