The literature on the contribution of local-level institutions to the development of collective response strategies to socio-ecological change is limited. In this article, the role of local-level institutional arrangements in developing and mobilizing stocks of adaptive capacity is examined. Using focus group discussions and interviews, data were collected from participants drawn from 7 communities on the local-level institutional arrangements, their impacts on climate change adaptation, and their effects on the climate change adaptation decision-making. Using the qualitative content analysis technique tool which compresses many words into themes systematically, it was evident that local-level institutional arrangements impacted the practice of adaptation strategies both negatively and positively. The positive impacts included serving as a channel for conflict resolution and mediation, source of security, and a source of unity, the negative impacts included: corrupt tendencies, loss of income, a higher cost of production, decreased output, and a high cost of shea nuts. The impacts of these institutional arrangements influenced climate change adaptation decisions made on: acquisition of land and trees; sharing of profits; and purchasing of shea nuts for processing. Therefore, institutional arrangements at the local level are critical for climate change adaptation, which is a key response mechanism to climate change impacts.