The changing climate of vulnerability, aid and governance in Malawi



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By year 2020, developed countries pledged to mobilize USD100 billion per year towards mitigation of greenhouse gases and strategies of adaptation. This redistribution from Annex I (developed) countries to developing countries represents a near doubling of current official development assistance levels, yet future strategies of adaptation remain nebulous. Definitions, opinions and agendas of adaptation have evolved into new global development strategy, but will externally-designed strategies threaten an adaptive process that should be community-led and environmentally-contextual? Little empirical research has been conducted on adaptation as an international development strategy that consists of massive earmarking of funds to institute and later demonstrate that projects are related to climate change. Through semi-structured interviews with international and development organizations, national and local governments, civil society and community focus groups, this research chronicles Malawi's polycentric response to climate change vulnerability. Using site-visits to numerous active adaptation projects in Malawi as case-studies, this research examines who the stakeholders are in this process, what adaptation looks like and how the overall concept of this new development strategy can be improved.