Does external funding help adaptation? Evidence from community-based water management in the Colombian Andes

Felipe Murtinho, Hallie Eakin, David López-Carr, Tanya M. Hayes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Scopus citations


    Despite debate regarding whether, and in what form, communities need external support for adaptation to environmental change, few studies have examined how external funding impacts adaptation decisions in rural resource-dependent communities. In this article, we use quantitative and qualitative methods to assess how different funding sources influence the initiative to adapt to water scarcity in the Colombian Andes. We compare efforts to adapt to water scarcity in 111 rural Andean communities with varied dependence on external funding for water management activities. Findings suggest that despite efforts to use their own internal resources, communities often need external support to finance adaptation strategies. However, not all external financial support positively impacts a community's abilities to adapt. Results show the importance of community-driven requests for external support. In cases where external support was unsolicited, the results show a decline, or "crowding-out," in community efforts to adapt. In contrast, in cases where communities initiated the request for external support to fund their own projects, findings show that external intervention is more likely to enhance or "crowds-in" community-driven adaptation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1103-1114
    Number of pages12
    JournalEnvironmental Management
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Nov 2013


    • Adaptive capacity
    • Collective action
    • Community-based resource management
    • Crowding-out
    • Latin America
    • Water scarcity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Global and Planetary Change
    • Ecology
    • Pollution


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