Multilevel governance in climate change adaptation in Bangladesh : structure, processes, and power dynamics

Ishtiaque, Asif; Eakin, Hallie; Vij, Sumit; Chhetri, Netra; Rahman, Feisal; Huq, Saleemul


Climate change adaptation requires the engagement of multiple actors in different sectors and at various levels of governance. The different roles played by policy actors and their interactions shape the process of adaptation governance. Nevertheless, to date, there has been limited attention paid to how the structure of relations and their associated power dynamics between these actors affect adaptation governance process at different levels. In this study, we analyzed the structure, processes, and power dynamics entailed in the multilevel governance of adaptation to floods in coastal areas of Bangladesh. We used social network analysis approach to map and unpack the interactions between actors that influence the adaptation governance. We categorized five types of organizations based on the structural attributes of the governance network and their functions. Our analysis shows that the organizations with high influence over the governance process reside at the national level and the adaptation governance process is influenced by elite-pluralism. We found that both top-down and bottom-up processes co-exist in different phases of adaptation governance (planning, implementation, and monitoring). Lastly, we conclude that a more equitable redistribution of power (roles and responsibilities) may diminish the negative implications of federal centralization in adaptation governance.