Institutional Sustainability in the Face of Climate Change: Empirical Insights from Irrigation Institutions in the Iringa Rural District, Tanzania

  • George C. Kajembe
  • Pål Vedeld
  • Innocent H. BabiliEmail author
  • Dos Santos Silayo
  • Devotha B. Mosha


Adaptation and mitigation have been proposed as strategies for addressing climate change, which is a predominant challenge facing society today. It has been found that an increase of 1 °C leads to a 5 % reduction in grain yield. From 1901 to 2010, the average sea level rose by 19 cm, and global emission of CO2 has increased by about 50 % since 1990. However, little attention has been paid to the link between institutional sustainability and climate change adaptation and mitigation. This paper argues that effective adaptation to and mitigation of climate change depends on the sustainability of both formal and informal institutions. Institutional sustainability is used in this paper to mean the ability of institutions, under particular conditions, to continue guiding actors to achieve desirable goals. Sustainable formal and informal institutions provide a framework that guide interactions among actors, including organizations and individuals, for mitigating and adapting to climatic change. Literature has pointed out a number of conditions that ensure institutional sustainability during climate change. Drawing from empirical insights from a case study in Tanzania, it is demonstrated that institutional sustainability is possible in the face of climate change and can be achieved through evolution and change, legitimacy, bricolage and performance and embracing practices of polycentric governance. Furthermore, a multiple institutional logics of action (MILA) theoretical framework was recommended for assessing institutional sustainability in the face of climate change.


Adaptation Mitigation Institutions Institutional bricolage Multiple institutional logics of action (MILA) Conditions for institutional sustainability Institutional performance Institutional legitimacy Good governance 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • George C. Kajembe
    • 1
  • Pål Vedeld
    • 2
  • Innocent H. Babili
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dos Santos Silayo
    • 1
  • Devotha B. Mosha
    • 1
  1. 1.Sokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  2. 2.Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)ÅsNorway

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