Research for better policies to support women’s adaptation to climate change

Research for better policies to support women’s adaptation to climate change
23 March 2012

A growing literature reveals how climate change affects women first and worst, and respond to it differently from men. Women are also a key part of the solution. Yet, government’s climate plans and adaptation practices by non-government actors and the scientific community do not reflect these gender aspects.

In India, CDKN is supporting evidence-based policy research on gender and climate change adaptation. This is a pilot attempt to influence at least four State-level governments in India to mainstream gender and inclusiveness in their draft State-level Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs), through which India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is to be implemented.

The NAPCC identifies poor women as the worst affected group; current State-level draft plans fail to address their needs. The focus of this project is on adaptation for climate-sensitive rural livelihoods. This theme is at the core of the State Action Plans. The State Plans lack the critical dimensions of gender analysis and scientific documentation of local adaptation measures, both of which will be addressed by this project.

This research is timely because the State-level plans are drafts that have to now go through a consultative process before being finalised. This coincides with the finalisation of India’s 12th Five-year Plan (2012-17) which lays out overall government policies, programmes and schemes and allocates financial resources for the same.

CDKN-supported policy research and advocacy will be based on three axes of enquiry: (1) analysis of adaptation-related public policies, programmes and schemes, including best practices, through secondary and primary research; (2) analysis of public provisioning of these from an adaptation and a gender perspective and (3) primary-level scientific documentation, with gender analysis, of approximately six emerging and viable adaptation models in three vulnerable agro-climatic zones – flood, drought and cyclone-prone across the four selected States.

This evidence based policy advocacy will pro-actively engage with and involve policy makers, both bureaucrats and elected legislators. CDKN’s partner Alternative Futures (AF) has an ongoing engagement with many of these already. AF has been asked by the Union Environment Ministry and the state governments of Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh government to incorporate gender dimensions in their official climate-related policy documents.

The recommendations will be specific to policy/programme implementation at various levels of governance – state, district (sub-state administrative units) and village self-governing bodies called Panchayat Raj Institutions and will be disseminated widely through policy meetings (roundtables), policy briefs, journal articles, popular media and an advocacy-focused, interactive, ongoing website.

Source: CDKN