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Multi-level governance through regional adaptation partnerships Anja Bauer and Reinhard Steurer. BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria Symposium „The Governance of Adaptation“ Amsterdam, 22-23 March 2012. Orientation. The Go- Adapt project

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multi level governance through regional adaptation partnerships anja bauer and reinhard steurer

Multi-level governance through regional adaptation partnershipsAnja Bauer and ReinhardSteurer

BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

Vienna, Austria

Symposium „The Governanceof Adaptation“

Amsterdam, 22-23March 2012

  • The Go-Adaptproject
  • Partnershipsasnewgovernanceapproaches
  • Regional Adaptation Partnerships in Canada andthe UK
    • Scopeofcollaboration
    • Objects ofcoordination
    • Waysofcoordination
  • Conclusions
the go adapt project
The GO-ADAPT project


Fundedbythe Austrian Climate Research Program (ACRP), 1st Call

Duration: April 2010 - December 2012

Partner: Austrian Environment Agency


Analyse theGovernance of Adaptation to Climate Change, i.e. howgovernmentsdevelopandimplementadaptationpolicies – focus on institutionsandgoverningprocesses, not on policycontents

Work packages

Stock taking survey: provides an overview of how 10 OECD countries tackle four governance challenges that emerge when developing adaptation policies

Case studies: analyse in how far selected governance approaches contribute to adaptation policies

Extended literature review: aims to draw lessons from thematically related policy fields that are characterised by similar governance challenges

Synthesis of results: compares the case studies (cross-case analysis) in the light of the lessons drawn from the extended literature review

partnerships as new governance approaches
Partnerships as newgovernanceapproaches


  • Collaborativearrangements in a broadlydefinedissuearea
  • Heterogeneousactorsfrom different levelsandsocietalspheres


  • Effective, inclusive and legitimate mode of societal governing
  • Innovative solutions and policies
  • Go-Adapt- Survey -> important governance approach – vertical integration, stakeholder participation


  • In which way and to which extent do regional partnerships serve as a coordination mechanism between different levels (local, regional, national) as well as between societal domains?
  • In how far do partnerships contribute to climate change adaptation in terms of adaptive capacities and adaptation policies?
cautious comparison
  • Size ofthe countries and regions: Region ≠ Region
  • Political systems: CA=federalstatevs. UK=unitarystate
  • Governanceperspective: levelbetween national /federallevel and locallevel
the cases
The cases

UK: Regional Climate Change Partnerships (RCCP)

London Climate Change Partnership, ClimateSouthEast, Climate South West

Canada: Regional Adaptation Collaboratives (RAC)

RAC British Columbia, Prairies RAC, RAC Atlantic

  • Since 1999
  • 11 partnerships
  • By regional bodies, supportedbyDefra, EA, UKCIP
  • Investigating and advising on the regional and local impacts of CC and the development of respective responses
  • Broadthematicfocus: tourism, planning, water, businesses, …
  • Since 2009 (3years)
  • 6 collaboratives
  • RAC-ProgrambyNRCan
  • Capacitate decision-makers to make policy, operational, and management changes in response to CC
  • Narrower thematic focus: water management
actors coordination pathes
Actors & coordinationpathes

Vertical coordination

Horizontal coordination

between public & private actors

Horizontal coordination

Horizontal coordin. between partnerships

  • - Partner: taking part in activities of the partnership
  •  - Key partner: also involved in steeringthepartnership
  • + - Main targetgroupoftheactivities/productsofthepartnership
substance of c oordination

Verticalcoordination in thepublicdomain:

  • Sub-national actorsco-shapenational adaptationpolicies
  • National actorscoordinateadaptationpoliciesatregional and locallevels

Horizontal coordinationbetweensectors/policydomains

  • ….

Horizontal coordinationbetweenpublic and private actors

  • ….

Horizontal coordinationbetwenpartnerships

  • ….
object of coordination policies
Objectofcoordination - Policies

Localpolicies and planning

Variety of sectors: infrastructure, housing, land management

Indirectlybyguidance and tools, directlyinvolved in planningprocesses (esp. London)

Regional policies

Strategies (adaptation and othersectors, e.g. water)

Implementationmechanismforadaptationstrategy (UK)

National policies

Restricted to adaptationpolicies

Providinglocal and regional perspective in thepolicyformulation

Delivery mechanismsfor national adaptationpolicy

object of coordination adaptive capacities
Objectofcoordination – Adaptive capacities


Providing guidance




process of coordination
  • Means and structuresofcoordination:
      • Management & organizationalbodies: SteeringCommittee, Executive Group, etc.,
      • Working groups, projects
      • Workshops, trainings, events
      • National level: Funding & coordinationbodies
  • Modes ofcoordination – vertical:
    • CA: to-down, hierarchytransmission of national agenda/policy to regions, via national programme; close supervision by NRCan
    • UK: bottom-up, mutual interaction patterns
  • Modes ofcoordination – horizontal:

In CA & UK: Network governance: voluntary, trust, consensus, identification, littlecompetition

  • Partnerships as institutionalresponse to the multi-levelgovernancechallengeofadaptation
    • Importantcoordinationmechanismforactorsbetween and withinlevels
    • Many activities, mainly capacity building and coordination – the latter also aiming at influencing policies
    • Aim at informingdecision-making at variouslevels
  • Distinctpatternsofgoverningthroughpartnerships
    • Limited project vs Continuous partnership
    • Closed vs open membership
    • Government vs led - stakeholder-led
    • Driven by national agenda vs driven by regional and local needs
    • Hierarchical, one-sided steering vs network mode, two sided relationship

Thankyou!Anja Bauer,,

BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

Vienna, Austria