The meaningful engagement of community-based actors in climate change adaptation planning is crucial for effective plans, but achieving it is an ongoing challenge, even with participatory methods. In this paper we explore the effects of a very different approach, using a shared-values crystallisation approach as a pre-process to standard vulnerability risk assessments (VRAs), which recently reported significant impact on plans produced. We posit the effect could be due to learning via changed local perceptions of roles, and we use multiple-case study work with five Village Development Committees (VDCs) in North East District, Botswana, and examine VRA outputs, and pre- and post-VRA interview transcripts, for qualitative evidence of tangible changes in role perceptions. Findings indicate that VDC members who took part in the shared-values pre-process significantly clarified and prioritized their general roles, and subsequently engaged more deeply in the planning process, taking more responsibility and ownership for the final adaptation plans produced. They related climate risks to their local lived-realities better, producing quality action plans, funding innovations, and mainstreaming of adaptation into wider local plans, alongside an eagerness to present ideas to higher-governance levels. These findings suggest the shared-values pre-process could be immediately valuable for multilevel adaptation planning practices, and that the concept of role clarification deserves more specific consideration in academic studies on participation.
- shared values
- WeValue InSitu
- local adaptation plan
- village development committee
- vulnerability risk assessment
- multilevel adaptation