This ESRC/DfID-funded research programme (reference number RES16725­0576) is the result of a partnership between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the One World Trust. Building on the One World Trust’s Global Accountability Framework research into the formation of global and national policy, relationships and coalitions of actors involved, and the expertise of the LSHTM team on issues of population dynamics, public health and vulnerability, we are investigating how global and national organisations who play an important role in responding to climate change-induced threats to poverty alleviation and public health are preparing themselves institutionally to meet these challenges.

Specifically, we are asking how these actors remain responsive and accountable to their key stakeholders, especially the poorest and most vulnerable to the impact of climate change. As a critical part of the programme we will open up spaces for dialogue with the reviewed organisations to stimulate discussions and initiatives for accountability reform and develop a conceptual framework in which the role and dimensions of accountability can be understood in the context of the governance and provision of global public goods and sustainable development.

Case study organisations

The project focuses on organisational preparedness and accountability of key actors in global climate governance. The research concentrates on:

- the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD) as a global research, programme, and funding body in development and climate change, with additional and increasing functions as a manager and governing body for global climate finance.

- the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as a regulator and adjudicator in issues of global trade affecting opportunities for access of countries and enterprises in both developing and developed countries to energy (including from different sources) and technology.

- the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a key policy maker and standards setter in the domain of population dynamics and public health, factors which remain only partly included and reflected in national and global climate change response.

- the UK Department for International Development (DfID) as a key bilateral donor agency with important influence on policy and programme for poverty reduction and responses to climate change.

Ghana has been chosen as the reference country because of its growth aim to become a middle income country by 2020, which both involves a requirement to meet significantly increasing energy demands, and a need to address continued, widespread and regionally unevenly distributed poverty. The increasing variability of environmental conditions as a result of climate change adds to the challenges. At the same time Ghana features a maturing institutional environment, and has extensive links with the global institutions studied in the project. Its civil society and corporate actors are contributing actively to policy formation.