Note:  Martin O. Oulu is a Climate Change and Environmental Consultant with Inscape Research and Consulting, P. O. Box 100828-00101, Nairobi, Kenya, and a University Lecturer <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The author participated in the SEI-ISDR-UNU writeshop in February 2011, and acknowledges the support. Special thanks to Tracy Cull for her comments on earlier drafts.
Abstract: Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into policies and development planning processes is widely acknowledged and advocated as an important means of addressing the myriad impacts of climate change. Kenya, like many developing countries, is very vulnerable to climate change and urgently needs to adapt. However, the country's adaptation mainstreaming efforts are still nascent and largely insufficient. Through a literature review and key informant interviews, this paper identifies Kenya's potential climate-adaptation mainstreaming entry-points and investigates the normative, organizational, and procedural mainstreaming strategies employed. This is done from a horizontal Climate Policy Integration perspective. Three potential mainstreaming entry-points, among them Kenya Vision 2030, the current development blueprint, are identified. The results indicate that while political commitment to, and strategic vision on, climate adaptation is present as exemplified by high-profile champions and the development of the National Climate Change Response Strategy, institutional set-ups remain fragmented and inadequate. Of particular importance is the need to anchor coordination efforts for climate change adaptation in a high-level and cross-sectoral office. Ex-ante assessment procedures, such as Strategic Environment Assessment and Environment Impact Assessment, should incorporate robust climate vulnerability assessments and adaptation requirements.