Evaluating adaptation to climate change from a development perspective

Evaluation of CCAI (climate change adaptation interventions) is challenging as they are diverse, cutting across sectors and scales. Few evaluations have yet been undertaken. Monitoring and evaluation is often designed post-hoc and not embedded in the project.

Methods could be improved through: 

  • Mechanisms to provide ongoing feedback on impacts beyond the lifespan of the project
  • Participatory evaluation - 360° 
  • Impact indicators developed in partnership with beneficiaries
  • Baseline scenarios and development of the capacity to monitor change over long timescales, retain the information and provide it in usable formats at the right time.

Other conclusions:

  • With the move to larger scale, sector-wide thematic country level and synthesis evaluations, it will be important to promote integration.
  • Rather than fostering an explosion of evaluations, greater efforts are required in ensuring adaptation rests within Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) at the outset with consequent integration of National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs).
  • It is vital that sectoral plans, particularly water and agriculture, have climate change fully integrated within them.

A conceptual framework is proposed to provide indicators which can measure progress in: knowledge generation and application: flexible institutions at all scales and use any established monitoring and reporting systems on sectoral issues related to adaptation are already in place avoid creating new metrics.

Photo of Martin Greeley, IDS Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915749

E: m.greeley@ids.ac.uk

More details

Evaluating Climate Change Adaptation from a Development Perspective

In 'Evaluating Climate Change and Development' (2010)
Feinstein, O. and van den Berg, R.

Evaluating Climate Change: Pro-poor Perspectives

In 'Poverty in a Changing Climate' (2008)
Tanner, T. and Mitchell, T.

Evaluation of climate change adaptation from a development perspective

Hedger, M., Horrocks, L., Mitchell, T., Leavy, J. and Greeley, M.
Project Dates:
March 2008 - August 2008
Project Status:
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Department for International Development (DFID)
Research Themes / Programmes:
Climate Change