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Wendy Conway-Lamb

Wendy Conway-Lamb

PhD Candidate


Wendy is a researcher and practitioner with over fifteen years of experience working on climate change and international development. Her areas of expertise include climate change adaptation and resilience; global climate governance; international aid and development; deliberative democracy; climate justice; gender equality and inclusion. Wendy is currently completing a PhD at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra, exploring how those most affected by climate impacts at local levels can be more meaningfully included in global adaptation governance, with an empirical focus on Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

Wendy has worked for federal government, NGOs, think tanks, and the United Nations. Her skills encompass research and analysis; policy and technical advice; program design and evaluation; team leadership; and academic teaching, training and facilitation. She is currently on leave from her role as Climate and Development Specialist in DFAT’s Climate Integration Unit. Her career with DFAT has seen her designing and evaluating climate-related aid investments, providing technical advice on climate-related policy and programming, leading teams, and undertaking public diplomacy, both in Canberra and in the Indo-Pacific region. Geographically her focus has primarily been Southeast Asia, including over four years working on climate change and development in Vietnam.

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Tweets at @WendyConwayLamb


Wendy's PhD research explores how a more deliberative approach to the governance of climate change adaptation could empower those most affected by climate change, and least responsible for causing it, to be more meaningfully included in adaptation decision-making. Getting beyond ideas of participation or representation, the concept of a deliberative system allows us to describe and analyse how in practice, even in non-democratic contexts, adaptation is governed by the interaction of multiple formal and informal actors. Highlighting the inherently contested and political nature of adaptation, Wendy’s empirical research reveals a plurality of adaptation discourses invoked by an array of government and non-government actors involved in adaptation in Vietnam. In this complex discursive landscape, some understandings of adaptation take precedence over others, creating the risk of exclusion but also an opportunity for transmission of influence and deliberative inclusion.


  • John Dryzek (Primary Supervisor)

  • Jonathan Pickering (Secondary Supervisor)

  • Lisa Schipper (Supervisor)


  • Conway-Lamb, W. (2024). Pluralizing climate change adaptation: mapping discourses in Vietnam. Climate and Development, 1–12.

  • De Pryck, K; Chalaye, P; Conway-Lamb, W; Elstub, S; Sanchez, E; Sari, N (forthcoming) ‘The 2021 Global Climate Assembly: A new global deliberative space?’ in Escobar & Elstub (eds.) Climate Assemblies: New Civic Institutions for a Climate-Changed World, De Gruyter

  • Conway-Lamb, Wendy (2021), Climate Change, a non-fiction book for disadvantaged school children in the Asia-Pacific region, published by Library for All Digital Library for the World,

Conference Papers

  • Conway-Lamb, Wendy (2024) ‘What does adaptation justice mean to people affected by climate impacts?’ Human Geographies of Climate Change Adaptation conference, Bergen, May 2024

  • Conway-Lamb, Wendy & Pickering, Jonathan (2022) ‘The case for democratizing global adaptation governance’, Earth System Governance conference, Toronto, Oct 2022

  • Conway-Lamb, Wendy (2018), ‘Beyond the vertical hierarchy paradigm: a deliberative systems approach to adaptation governance’, IPSA World Congress of Political Science, Brisbane, July 2018

  • Conway-Lamb, Wendy (2018), ‘Inclusive multi-level adaptation governance: a deliberative systems approach’, Adaptation Futures, Cape Town, June 2018

Research Projects

  • Global Assembly on the Climate and Ecological Crisis (2021 - present), member of research and evaluation team

  • Deliberative Worlds: Democracy, Justice and a Changing Earth System (2016 - 2020), Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship Project, PhD candidate


  • International Climate Change Policy and Economics masters level course, Australian National University, 2022

  • Domestic Climate Change Policy and Economics masters level course, Australian National University, 2022


  • Research fellow, Earth System Governance network

  • Research affiliate, Centre for Environmental Governance, University of Canberra

Scholarships and Prizes

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