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From agenda-setting to implementation – the role of multi-sectoral partnerships in addressing urban climate risks

Multi-sectoral partnerships (MSPs) form an increasingly popular and important part of the global climate and disaster risk governance landscape, but literature offers little critical investigation of this phenomenon. In particular it remains unclear how MSPs can support the transition from agenda-setting to implementation in response to multiple current and future pressures threatening the resilience of cities. Through the lens of the London Climate Change Partnership (LCCP) and drawing from other MSP examples, this paper investigates the scope for MSPs to enhance climate adaptation in an urban context. Our paper has two main aims: to expand understanding of the role of MSPs in the adaptation decision process in the context of the wider governance literature, and to shed some light on the complexities of transitioning through that process. To clarify the role of a MSP we propose a distinction between ‘first generation’ and ‘second generation’ MSPs, illustrating the progression from agenda-setting to implementation: ‘first generation’ MSPs are focused on agenda-setting and knowledge sharing in order to support decision-makers, while ‘second generation’ partnerships are aimed at implementing solutions. We consider this distinction from the perspective of the individual members and their perceptions, motivations and expectations. We find that the dynamic nature of urban adaptation with a shifting focus from initial agenda setting towards the implementation of actions presents challenges for existing MSPs, particularly such long-established ones like the LCCP. Our investigation shows that ‘first generation’ MSPs can play important roles in agenda-setting, but finds little evidence of ‘second generation’ MSPs achieving implementation.
Author: Surminski, Swenja; Leck, Hayley
Language: English
Pubished By: Earth’s Future
Pubished date: August 2017

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