Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Quantifying benefit losses from poor governance of climate change adaptation projects: A discrete choice experiment with farmers in Kenya

Nthambi, Mary and Wätzold, Frank and Markova-Nenova, Nonka (2018): Quantifying benefit losses from poor governance of climate change adaptation projects: A discrete choice experiment with farmers in Kenya.

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Abstract

Climate change impacts pose a great challenge to agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa as droughts become more frequent and more severe. A major roadblock to implementing climate change adaptation measures is poor governance. Given their experience with governing organizations, farmers are highly suitable respondents to assess the appropriateness of different governing organizations to implement adaptation measures on the ground. We surveyed 300 farmers in Makueni County in Kenya applying the choice experiment method to assess their preferences in relation to different attributes of a sand storage dam project to enhance rainwater harvesting as an adaptation measure. Attributes include the organization governing the dam construction, dam wall height and volume of water harvested, the type of pump used to distribute water, number of tree rows planted to prevent silting, and labor time farmers are willing to contribute to dam construction. Responses were analyzed using the mixed logit model. Our key result shows that farmers prefer an NGO as the governing organization, followed closely by a farmer network and, with some distance, a government institution. For the whole of Makueni County, we find that benefit losses of $ 482,766 occur if farmer networks are the governing organizations instead of NGOs and $ 2,679,706 if government institutions govern the dam construction instead of NGOs. While the importance of governance structures for development is well-known, our study is novel as it quantifies the benefit losses that occur due to poor governance in the field of climate change adaptation. On a methodological level, our study contributes to improving the application of choice experiments in developing countries as it draws attention to the careful selection of the payment vehicle. In terms of policy recommendations, our results suggest that substantial benefit losses may occur if appropriate governing organizations are not selected when implementing much needed climate adaptation measures.

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