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Is there agreement about which stakeholders need to be involved?

Having completed the getting started section, the first question to address regarding implementation is whether there is agreement about which stakeholders need to be involved.

Stakeholders must understand how they are being involved, how the information they provide will be used and what opportunities they have to influence decisions. It is also important to consider the scope of the issues that stakeholders will participate in defining and solving. When designing the engagement, it is valuable to take into account the stage at which the engagement is occurring in terms of the policy making process, what decisions have already been taken and what positions are already fixed. It may be that that a particular engagement activity, though very participatory in itself, is not effective or satisfactory for the participants because the scope is too constrained and there is no opportunity for developing creative solutions.

AP interactive decision tree - click any node to select it

As well as having a sense of the stages of an adaptation process it is also important to design an adaptation plan to be flexible enough to cope with 'messiness' and 'surprise' as it arises. Adaptation is not a linear process although it is often presented in this way for the sake of simplicity. In practice adaptation occurs more iteratively and with unanticipated elements that challenge the inevitably partial and inadequate framing. These provide opportunities to challenge assumptions about how change happens and learn from the unforeseen consequences of interventions (Moser and Ekstrom, 2010).

A good collaborative adaptation process is composed of cycles of learning that deepen and focus the inquiry into what will support effective adaptation in a given context. Seeing it as a process of learning allows openness to not knowing precisely what will emerge. Understanding will develop during the process particularly if opportunities for reflecting, reassessing and changing the focus are designed into the process to keep the work on track. Much of the most useful learning and connections between individuals happens through informal processes in 'shadow spaces' (Pelling and High, 2005) that provide opportunities for people to connect with peers in their own and other organisations and build of informal links in order to learn from each other

This section is based on the UNEP PROVIA guidance document

Criteria checklist

1. You want to implement adaptation actions.
2. The phases of "Getting started" have been adressed.
3. As a next step you are faced with the question whether there is agreement about which stakeholders need to be involved.