The aid allocation dilemma : How to balance recipient vulnerability and recipient capacity?
Abstract: How bilateral aid donors allocate their adaptation aid is of importance since the most vulnerable to climate change often lack the capacities necessary to combat climate change impacts alone. However, from a donor perspective, the lack of institutional capacity implies that the allocated resources might be managed less effectively compared to in a context with ’good governance’. Thus, a dilemma regarding whether donors should prioritise aid effectiveness or recipient vulnerability rises. This study aims to conduct an in-depth analysis of the two bilateral donors Sweden and the United States, in order to examine their reasoning behind adaptation aid with regards to the mentioned dilemma between recipient vulnerability and recipient capacity. The study is conducted on a policy level by analysing policy material, including donor objectives and government policies and strategies, that concerns the two bilateral donors’ adaptation aid work. With the help of the theoretical framework, based on established development aid allocation models in an adaptation context, a text analysis systematically categorises the donors’ rationales and statements concerning adaptation aid and with regards to the dilemma. The main results of the text analysis confirm the dilemma’s complexity since both donors recognise and discuss its implications. Further, the results indicate a divide between the two bilateral aid donors as they tend to emphasise different positions toward adaptation aid. Moreover, in this relatively new field of study, the following essay contributes with an in-depth study on donor level, in contrast to previous research that provides mainly comprehensive and aggregate findings. Lastly, this study’s findings are of interest concerning adaptation aid’s increasing significance due to climate change and it also provides possible future research opportunities concerning adaptation aid allocation.
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