Policies, Projects and People: Exploring the Adaptation-development Spectrm in India

Chandni Singh, Sumetee Pahwa Gajjar, Tanvi Deshpande | 2016


Adaptation is a key process for human and natural systems to deal with current and future impacts of climate change. It is recognised that for adaptation action to be effective, it must take into account inherent vulnerabilities arising from social differentiation, historical trajectories of marginalisation and inequality, and differential asset bases as well as macro-dynamics in markets, policies, and natural resources. In India, a fast growing economy that addresses development deficits has been the main focus of policymakers and development practitioners. Development interventions have been initiated, planned, managed and implemented by various actors across scales. The growing realisation that climate change is an additional stressor, has motivated significant adaptation action in India; either through mainstreaming adaptation concerns in existing development work, or formulating targeted adaptation projects . In this paper, we review literature and 69 existing adaptationdevelopment projects in India to examine the nature of what we call the ‘adaptation-development spectrum’ and how it is manifested in research and practice (through different actors, processes and methodologies). We find that while there is a significant reorientation of development action in India to mainstream adaptation goals, there remain issues around institutional role-definition as well as a nuanced understanding of critical aspects of adaptation.