Gender and State Climate Change Action Plans in India: Research and policies to enable poor women and rural communities adapt to climate change.

This project reviewed India’s State-level Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs) and farm practices in four States from a gender and policy lens; and engaged with policy makers to make these adaptation plans more gender-responsive.

Growing climate literature, including the Fourth Assessment 2007 Report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reveals how climate change impacts women and men differently; why women, especially poor women, need to play a more central role in adapting to climate change; and how climate change is adding another layer to the gender gap. In other words, climate change is not ‘gender neutral’ because women do not have the required education, opportunities, authority or resources to deal with this change. Yet, gender differences are hardly articulated in national climate action plans and there is a lack of gendered understanding of adaptive interventions on the ground. The Indian government’s climate plans, scientific adaptation research and field-level adaptation practices also do not reflect this gender differentiation.

This 2-year project, supported by Climate and Development Knowledge Network ( addressed this disconnect with gender in policy and in practice. Collaborating partner organizations include Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh; Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG) in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh; Development Research Communication and Services Centre (DRCSC) in Kolkata, West Bengal; and Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), New Delhi.

This project built on AF’s earlier research report, ‘Engendering the Climate for Change: Policies and Practices for Gender-just Adaptation’ which flagged key gender-responsive concerns in India’s adaptation plans under the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC); and in adaptive interventions rolled out by development organizations and agencies.

This policy research:

  1. Assessed, from a gender lens, State-level Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs) of Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal with a focus on actual programmes and schemes envisaged under these plans for helping climate-sensitive agriculture-related livelihoods adapt to climate change impacts.
  2. It examined gender budgeting components in State government’s adaptation-related public budgets;
  3. It undertook primary-level scientific study of organic and conventional farmers in three vulnerable agro-climatic zones – the flood-prone area in Gorakhpur, East Uttar Pradesh; the drought-prone region of Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh; the saline, cyclone-prone Sunderbans region in West Bengal – to examine the ecological, gender and policy dimensions of organic and conventional farming.

Outputs from this research project include:

  • – an advocacy-focused, interactive website.
  • Policy briefs in English, Hindi and Bengali. These are available on and can be downloaded from the gencap website
  • Popular media and journal articles

Gender-sensitive evidence collected from this primary research informed the policy recommendations for the State climate plans. The policy recommendations from this project were shared at State-level Policy Roundtables and have been included in some State Action Plans on Climate Change.

For more details and research and policy outputs from this project, please see