Assessing the institutional capacity to adapt to climate change : a case study in the Cambodian health and water sectors
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Institutional capacity is an important element for climate change adaptation (CCA) and the development of such capacity is a great challenge in a Least Developed Country like Cambodia where resources are limited. An important first step to increasing capacity is via an understanding of the level of existing capacity; future priorities can then be subsequently identified. This study aimed to assess the capacity of organizations to implement climate change activities in Cambodia in order to provide such a basis for building capacity. Four elements of capacity were investigated in this research: (1) financial resources, (2) cooperation and coordination of stakeholders, (3) availability and quality of information on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and (4) the level of understanding of climate change vulnerability and adaptation. The data were collected through semi structured interviews with a wide range of government and non-government informants across a number of sectors. Results of the study showed that informants perceived capacity for CCA to be very constrained, especially in terms of financial resources and cooperation, and addressing these factors was ranked as the highest climate change capacity priority. Institutional capacity constraints were considered to relate more generally to weak governance of CCA. In light of our research findings, the absence of local higher education institutions in CCA activities should be addressed. The support of such institutions would provide an important mechanism to progress both capacity development as well as partnerships and coordination between different types of organizations and relevant sectors.
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