Applying the robust adaptation planning (RAP) framework to Ghana’s agricultural climate change adaptation regime

This paper introduces a five-step framework, namely the Robust Adaptation Planning (RAP) framework, to plan and respond to the ‘grand challenge’ of climate change. RAP combines, under a unified framework, elements from robust action, participatory planning and network theory to capture the different motives, perception, and roles of actors that are important for climate change adaptation. RAP leverages existing structures and networks and involves diverse actors to plan, sequence and time strategies across multiple levels (i.e. from local to national). Actors identify adaptation interventions and important actor relations to develop wide networks, highlighting potential pathways for connecting action from central policy to local implementation (and vice versa). Comparing these proposed participatory structures with existing structures reveals actors deemed important for delivering adaptation, as well as gaps and overlaps in their relations. The end result is a robust plan covering many perspectives and local realities for both relieving immediate and adapting to longer-term consequences of climate change. We applied the RAP framework in Ghana’s agricultural climate change adaptation regime to demonstrate its usefulness as a means of planning adaptation interventions in a climate-vulnerable, multi-actor and multi-level setting. The application of the RAP framework in this paper highlights how it can: (1) visualise the adaptation space (and its different components), and reduce the complexity of implementing adaptation responses; (2) offer a shared space to actors from all administrative levels to think and create collective narratives for adaptation without demanding explicit consensus and; (3) identify key actors and actions through a collaborative planning process, and allocate responsibility for the smooth delivery of adaptation interventions.
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  • Chaudhury, Abrar S.
  • Thornton, Thomas F.
  • Helfgott, Ariella
  • Sova, Chase



Chaudhury AS, Thornton TF, Helfgott A, Sova C. 2017. Applying the robust adaptation planning (RAP) framework to Ghana’s agricultural climate change adaptation regime. Sustainability Science 1-20.