Get organized and strengthen institutional capacity

This means creating or assigning an organizational structure to coordinate and be responsible for the climate adaptation mainstreaming process.
This can be done at various levels, at the national level, the regional, local level, as part of a local government and community organization.

Establishing climate adaptation as a key consideration has shown to be important. This can be done by developing a strategy or integrating it into existing strategies. To ensure synergies with similar efforts, it is important to connect the organization with risk reduction and sustainable development processes. The institutional capacity needs to be built continuously at all levels and across sectors to provide an effective governance system.


Developing an organizational structure provides leadership, clear responsibilities and coordination. Having organizational structure and clear processes in place is important as it ensures that the right expertise and competence are in place and induces ownership and internalization of the issues. This encourages a more profound and permanent change in the governance and day-to-day decision-making process. It is a critical component in other risk-related principles and frameworks. For example, organize for disaster resilience is also mentioned as part of the ten essentials for Making Cities Resilient by the UNDRR.  Although locally led action and organization is crucial, a national level organization is essential because it ensures longer term vision and coordinated actions at strategic level, which can guide efforts at the other levels. Ideally, an adaptive organization is needed at multiple levels, that also communicate across levels, and exchange knowledge. Continuously building institutional capacity is crucial for realizing learning across levels and adaptation actions. The icon above illustrates how a cross cutting coordination can also bridge silos and enable synergies and pooling of resources. 

Many members of the WAC has highlighted the importance of organization.

For example:

  • A national level program is recommended to manage large deltas in the adaptation in deltas policy package
  • Risk needs to be assessed across sectors, is mentioned in this webinar on accelerating adaptation. 
  • A cross sectoral coordinating mandate for storm water management in this case study from Gothenburg, Sweden, is put in place to manage increasing rainfall. 


Contribute now

Have you experienced a good organizational model for mainstreaming? Have you got other lessons learnt that you want to share in the form of an article or contribution to a discussion? If so, please get in contact with the WAC facilitator, or comment below.  




Community Dialogue - mainstreaming water adaptation

08/11/2022 - 16:00

Water governance is often not fit to respond to the adaptation challenges, being fragmented and insufficiently integrated with climate change planning. National, provincial and municipal governments and water boards hold different responsibilities for putting in place good water governance but sometimes lack capacity and coordination. Therefore, the current water crisis is very much a governance crisis exacerbated by climate change

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Urban areas are hotspots of risks

A call to action to mainstream water adaptation

Mainstreaming of water adaptation is necessary to accelerate a system-wide coherence on water across multiple agendas. These three videos are a call to action to mainstream water climate adaptation - targeting policy processes at international events such COP27, the UN 2023 Water Conference and COP28. 

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Aerial view of river IJssel, Zwolle, Overijssel Province, the Netherlands.

The Delta Programme governance approach, The Netherlands by Peter Glas

The Delta Programme of The Netherlands is a government initiative to ensure that the Netherlands is protected against flooding, now and in the future, and prepared for weather extremes. Furthermore, sufficient fresh water must be available.

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