1. Introduction 4. Output
2. Aim 5. Material and preparation
3. Input data 6. Exercise instructions


Involving the right set of actors is a vital step in facilitating implementation and increasing the legitimacy of the climate adaptation process. It is also important to understand how these actors interact with one another and which responsibilities come under their mandate in order to fill existing gaps and increase cooperation. By drawing on the stakeholder mapping conducted in the Exercise A - Mapping the stakeholders, the responsibilities of the key actors that are involved in the governance of climate adaptation and mitigation and the relationships between these actors will be further clarified.

Group participants will rank the identified key actors in terms of adaptive capacity, importance for climate adaptation and mitigation, and for seizing opportunities. They will also assess their degree of interaction with one another. The exercise looks at formal and informal responsibility and identifies responsibility gaps that risk impeding climate adaptation and mitigation. The output will be particularly important to evaluate the outcome of Exercise V on adaptive capacity.


This exercise aims at mapping division of responsibility across the key actors who are involved in identified areas or sectors. This will enhance the ability to decide how to proceed with: (i) long-term planning (ii) crisis management and (iii) seizing opportunities related to climate change.

Input data

Results from Exercise A - Mapping the stakeholders under the inventory analysis.


A scheme of the relationships between key actors, according to their importance for implementing climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Material and preparation

  • Pens of different colors and flipchart sized paper
  • Prepare about 20 circles of different sizes and colors on “thick” paper.
  • Prepare a flipchart-sized paper with the stakeholder mapping table from the Exercise A - Mapping the stakeholders. Add the extra columns according to Table 1 below. 
  • Prepare circles of different sizes and colors on a computer, if you wish.

Table 1. Responsibilities and relationships of key actors involved in change (can be downloaded from the Related files on the right)

Name Organization Position Area of responsibility Degree of involvement Level of Influence Lack of cooperation (with whom) Lack of cooperation (about what)




Exercise instructions

1. The Process Leader presents the exercise. The exercise consists of three parts:

1) Brainstorming actors and their responsibilities
2) Mapping interaction
3) Discussion and analysis

2. Brainstorming actors and their responsibilities

The Process Leader places the paper containing the key stakeholders that were identified in Exercise A - Mapping the stakeholders  on the table. The group participants should study the list and then brainstorm about key actors involved in governance of climate change which are still missing. You should emphasise actors that have responsibilities you think are important for climate adaptation and mitigation in your local area or economic sector. They could be important in certain steps of governance, i.e. decision, planning, implementation. They could also be active at different administrative levels in society. They could also be important in different ways, for instance by providing knowledge support, analytical support, information, and power. Instruct the group how to proceed with crisis management and long-term planning (see “Crisis management and long-term strategies” below). If new actors are identified, add them to your list. Try to be as specific as possible i.e. give the name of the government department, section and even contact people, if possible.

For each actor on your list:

  • Select a “planet” i.e. a circle of appropriate color and size. The size of the planet represents its level of influence for adaptation and mitigation in your local area or economic sector, according to you. The colors represent different types of organizations, if you wish. Write the name of the actor on the planet.
  • Place the circle on the flipchart paper containing the name of the area or economic sector in the middle. The closer to the middle you put the circle, the more influential you think the actor is for affecting your ability to mitigate or adapt to climate change.
  • Repeat for all actors.
  • In the list of stakeholders, fill in the level of influence that you think the actor has on the governance of climate adaptation or mitigation.

3. Mapping interaction across actors

  • Use a green pen to draw a line between actors where cooperation exists today. The thicker the line, the stronger the interaction. A thin or dotted line symbolizes that cooperation just barely exists.
  • Use a red pen to draw cooperation between actors that the group thinks should exist or needs to exist in order to facilitate climate adaptation and mitigation in your local area or economic sector. On the line write what the cooperation should be about.
  • In your list of stakeholders, fill what cooperation is lacking today and specifically about what issues.

4. Discussion and analysis

  • Hold a short discussion based on the questions below. The objective is to decide which measures you want to implement in order to increase inter-actor cooperation and involvement from any importance actors, especially the large solitary 'planets', who are not already connected to the process. What forms of cooperation would be needed to seize the opportunities generated by climate change? Note your major decisions in a text document outlining concretely what and when certain activities are to be carried out to increase this involvement. This is important for the legitimacy and the plausibility of carrying out any decisions!

Questions to facilitate the group discussion:

  • Who is responsible for what important areas? Are these actors actually exercising their responsibility in the area of climate change?
  • Are there actors who have an informal responsibility? Should these actors be mobilized? Are there actors who should have more or more formal responsibility?
  • Are there any responsibility gaps?
  • Which of the actors have resources? Are these resources utilized efficiently?
  • Are there any resource gaps, “stock-piles” (not utilized today)?
  • Which of the identified sensitive activities are the hardest to handle?
  • What actors and areas of responsibility must be included in the process to best handle these issues?

Crisis management and long-term strategies

The Process Leader decides how important it is to distinguish between crisis management on the one hand and more long-term strategies on the other for your local area or economic sector. Experiences have shown that sometimes there is confusion between these two issues, which makes it harder to analyze division of responsibility. If you think that this distinction is important to maintain, please prepare one map for actors involved in crisis management, and one map for actors involved in longer-term planning. Make sure that you discuss how these two interact today and how you think they should interact in the future. What are the risks if they are not cooperating closely?

Back to Exercise V - Identifying and ranking adaptive capacity
Go further to Exercise VII – Integrated vulnerability assessment and action plan