Enabling Local Institutions

Local informal institutions such as agricultural support services (e.g. input supply, agricultural cooperatives, regulated markets, etc.) often take an active role in influencing decisions by promoting new technology. These enabling institutions need to possess important characters like egalitarian, autonomous, self-relient and democratic to advance sustainable use of climate information. There are many formal institutions at the district levels viz. agriculture, irrigation, public works, planning, budget, trade and commerce, and public health that need to come together and pro-actively decide necessary actions based on climate forecasts. Sustained use of forecasts at local level depends on the coordination of formal, informal organizations and active support from village development committees, common interest groups and input supply and agricultural cooperatives. The current climate forecast application initiatives in Indramayu, Indonesia hold a promise to bring an institutional set up to strengthen support services to manage climate risks. The lesson learned from the initiative was that the district planning agency had internalized the benefits and is interested to use climate forecasts for district development planning.

Conclusions

An effective information flow system from forecasters to agricultural organizations and farmers is feasible within the recently evolved institutional system. However, targeted forecast application can be enhanced through developing an end-to-end institutional feedback mechanism (Fig. 6.2). Such applications require significant capacity building efforts at various levels to generate, interpret, translate and communicate usable forecast products.

The effectiveness of institutional features, including organizational structures, policies and supporting instruments like legislation, financial instruments, budget, technology, and partnerships are the attributes that determine the sustained use of forecasts. The demonstration study in Indonesia showed that the bonding of various institutions based on their mandates and norms of solidarity and reciprocity are key elements in strengthening partnerships. As understanding and partnerships grow, these institutions will respond to the emerging challenges and reorient their policies and mandates to accommodate new seasonal climate forecast products. As a result, a growing network with increased capability to manage risk provides a foundation for much greater integration of climate forecasts into decision-making facilitated by enabling institutions.

Fig. 6.2. End-to-end institutional system to facilitate the flow of climate information from national to district and local/community levels

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