Exploring power and procedural justice within Climate Compatible Development design: whose priorities are being considered?

Climate compatible development (CCD) is gaining traction as a conceptual framework for mainstreaming climate change mitigation and adaptation within development efforts. Understanding whether and how CCD design processes reconcile different stakeholder preferences can reveal how the concept contends with patterns of sociocultural and political oppression that condition patterns of development. We, therefore, explore procedural justice and power within CCD design through a case study analysis of two donor-funded projects in Malawi. Findings show that donor agencies are driving design processes and involving other stakeholders selectively. While considerable overlap existed between stakeholders’ “revealed” priorities for CCD, invisible power dynamics encourage the suppression of “true” preferences, reducing the likelihood that CCD will be contextually appropriate and have widespread stakeholder buy in. Visible, hidden, and invisible forms of power create barriers to procedural justice in CCD design. We present five recommendations to help policy makers and practitioners to overcome these barriers.

Journal of Environment and Development