Multi-level Governance of Climate Change Adaptation: A Case Study of Country-Wide Adaptation Projects in Samoa

  • Anna McGinnEmail author
  • Anama Solofa
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Countries across the Pacific region have experienced a surge in internationally funding for climate adaptation initiatives. In the Independent State of Samoa, two major projects—funded by the Adaptation Fund and the World Bank Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR)—have supported adaptation planning and activity implementation in most villages across the country. These country-wide initiatives range from conducting LiDAR studies and updating Community Integrated Management (CIM) plans to installing rainwater catchment and storage tanks and reforesting water catchment areas. These projects inherently present a multi-level governance challenge because they are developed at the national level, are funded and monitored at the international level, and ultimately implemented in communities. This chapter explores the extent to which interactions across governance levels and scales advance effective adaptation to climate change. Based on in-country interviews, site observations, and observations of the Adaptation Fund’s terminal evaluation process, this chapter presents evidence from these major adaptation initiatives in Samoa to highlight where multi-level governance had been leveraged to enhance the governance of adaptation as well as areas of the projects where this has not occurred. It further examines the trade-offs inherent in efforts to work across governance scales and levels in conducting climate change adaptation.


Multi-level governance Climate change adaptation Samoa Climate finance 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-1144205. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This research is also supported by Dan and Betty Churchill Exploration Fund, the Richardson-Churchill SPIA Scholarship, and the University of Maine Graduate Student Government.

The authors are also grateful for the support of Dr. Cindy Isenhour for her guidance throughout the research process. The project would not have been possible without the participation and engagement from the interviewees and their colleagues who welcomed us into the climate adaptation project processes.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Climate Change Institute and School of Policy and International Affairs, University of MaineOronoUSA
  2. 2.School of Marine SciencesUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

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