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Subnational Adaptation Finance Allocation: Comparing Decentralized and Devolved Political Institutions in Kenya

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  • Sam Barrett

Abstract

Adaptation finance is designed to help vulnerable populations withstand effects of climate variability and change. However, levels of vulnerability seldom determine finance distribution. Political and economic preferences of national and local government decision-makers tend to direct funding streams. This article takes an institutional approach to adaptation finance allocation by comparing decentralized and devolved local governance structures managing adaptation finance in Kenya before and after the Constitution of 2010. Prior to reforms, funding was directed through decentralized mechanisms operating within district councils and local authorities; recently, devolution of political, administrative, and fiscal decision-making to county governments coincided with piloting of new local adaptation funds. Theory suggests that devolution institutionalizes more participative decision-making and fairer allocations. Evidence suggests vulnerable communities are indeed more likely to access, design, and receive allocations of finance in devolved political systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Barrett, 2015. "Subnational Adaptation Finance Allocation: Comparing Decentralized and Devolved Political Institutions in Kenya," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 15(3), pages 118-139, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:glenvp:v:15:y:2015:i:3:p:118-139
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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:65-77 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adaptation finance; Kenya; political institutions; comparative economics;

    JEL classification:

    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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