MEDIATION output (D4.3)
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D4.3: Typology of adaptation problems
A number of countries, as well as the European Union, are making strides to support the efforts of decision- and policy-makers, primarily local and national level bureaucrats but also elected leaders, having to plan and implement actions to adapt to climate change. In this paper we pose the question of what these people’s most important problems or challenges are for which they need this kind of outside support and assistance. In particular, we draw a distinction between challenges associated with defining adaptation problems, identifying alternatives, and selecting among those alternatives, and challenges associated with implementing the selected choice. A linear model of policy-making supposed all four to be important, while a model built around policy agendas and alternatives suggests that it is primarily in the area of implementation that policy-makers need assistance. We report on an empirical study to distinguish between these models in the area of adaptation. Our results tentatively suggest that implementation issues may be more important, which would support the policy agendas and alternatives model. We describe the implications of these results for the design of decision-support and information platforms.