Understanding the role of crystallizing local shared values in fostering effective community engagement in adaptation planning in Botswana

Obakeng A. Sethamo, Rachel Masika, Marie K. Harder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Effective engagement of local communities in externally driven development projects is problematic globally, including in the crucial development of locally appropriate plans for climate change adaptation. We present an exploratory case study of the purposeful use of an emerging values-based approach to first assist local communities to articulate and confirm their own, in-situ, shared values-in-action, as a pre-process to participatory vulnerability risk assessments (VRA). We separately engaged four Village Development Committees (VDCs) from the North East District in Botswana, where a widespread programme of local VRAs is taking place. Results clearly demonstrate very significant and meaningful engagement by, ownership of, and relevance to, participants in the VRA process, evident through the bespoke and tailored considerations of local vulnerabilities and responses, and post-event focus group interviews. We conclude that the values-based process, known as the WeValue InSitu shared values crystallization process, has potential for a step-wise shift in effectiveness of VRAs and local adaptation planning, and that a new agenda is needed to develop and test WeValue’s replicability and effectiveness in other international contexts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate and Development
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019



  • Climate change adaptation
  • community
  • participation
  • planning
  • shared values
  • village development committee
  • vulnerability

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