Achieving sustainable future objectives under uncertain conditions: Application of a learning framework to adaptation pathways in rural Mali

Totin, E and Thompson-Hall, M and Roncoli, C and Sidibé, A and Olabisi, L S and Zougmoré, R B (2021) Achieving sustainable future objectives under uncertain conditions: Application of a learning framework to adaptation pathways in rural Mali. Environmental Science & Policy (TSI), 116. pp. 196-203. ISSN 1462-9011

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Adaptation Pathways have emerged as promising approaches for exploring sequences of actions to address challenges in uncertain conditions. This study elaborates on how pathway approaches operate in practice by applying a learning framework that identifies guiding propositions for successful adaptation pathways. The framework is used to analyze a transformative scenario planning case study from rural Mali. Findings confirm that adaptation pathways are highly context-specific, grounded in local institutions. The study also emphasizes that the adaptation pathways process requires a sufficient timeframe to allow for cross-level interactions and institutional changes to unfold as needed. The case demonstrates that the framework can be a useful tool for reflexive learning and identifying gaps in a structured way during pathway development. However, it needs to be adjusted to specific contexts to better capture the influence of and implications for power relations and social inequality in future adaptation plans.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate change, Adaptation pathways, Scenario planning, Social learning, Mali
Subjects: Others > Climate Adaptation
Others > Sustainable Agriculture
Others > Climate Change
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 16 May 2021 11:56
Last Modified: 16 May 2021 11:56
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: This work was carried out under the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) consortium. ASSAR was one of four consortia under the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), with financial support from the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada. The views expressed in this work are those of the creators and do not necessarily represent those of the UK Government’s Department for International Development, the International Development Research Centre, Canada or its Board of Governors. A portion of this work was also made possible through a partnership with University of Ghana, Michigan State University and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) supported by the United States National Science Foundation. All research involving human participants for this case study was carried out following the ethical standards of the supporting institution, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the institutional partners’ ethical standards and review processes, including those of Michigan State University
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