Communities facing the effects of climate change are actively trying to boost their resilience. At the same time, governments are mainstreaming climate change into their development frameworks. Close examination of current practice, however, points at a disconnect between government policy and community initiatives. This study explores how strengthening specific capabilities at various levels can ensure synchronization of policy and practice and further community resilience in face of climate change. Choosing an approach that appreciates the interplay of top-‐down and bottom-‐up logics towards performance under stress, it illust rates that understanding resilience in terms of capacity opens the door to practical thinking on policies as well as practices. Evidence is taken from case studies in Chile and Vietnam to show how governments can play an enabling role when connecting their efforts to initiatives taken by communities. At the same time, top-‐down structures, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), can help to break silos between different (inter)national political agendas and underscore the need to link top-‐down and bottom-‐up approaches to ensure resilience. This paper contends that improving communities' adaptive capacity demands bridging the disconnect between multiple levels of policy and practice. In doing so, different, and too often conflicting, values, interests, and political agendas need to be aligned. Moreconcretely, we found that resilience, as an emergent property of human systems, can be enhanced when government and local stakeholders work together in a number of specific areas. For instance, combining multi-‐stakeholder platforms in which diverse actors – ranging from policy-‐makers to researchers to community representatives – translate lessons learned at the community level intolocal and national policy, with initiatives aimed at strengthening capacitiesand ensuring access to relevant assets at the community level.