Advancing Effectiveness of Adaptation

Event: Gobeshona 4 Global Conference: Locally- Led Adaptation (LLA) and resilience
Date: 7th March 2024
Adaptation effectiveness Gobeshona 4

Adaptation effectiveness (AE) refers to how policies and actions reduce present and future climate risks. It is a systems concept that requires a unit of measurement, expression in value terms, a baseline, and a goal. Pre-requisite/enabling conditions such as equity, justice, and fairness are essential. Over the years, progress in adaptation has been made in areas such as project planning, stakeholder engagement, monitoring and evaluation, risk assessment, and composite indices over the past 30 years under the UNFCCC. These developments provide a robust basis and framework for further building upon and for effective operationalization of AE. The importance of monitoring and evaluation for tracking progress, improving quality, and enhancing awareness of adaptation actions is highlighted in COP28 outcomes. In the COP, the AE was mostly stressed from the point of view of financing, and to a certain extent the debate tends to suggest using finance as a carrot and stick to ensure effectiveness. 


Adaptation effectiveness has ambition, feasibility, and equity & justice as key components. Ambition relates to the expected climate risk reduction, feasibility depends on enabling conditions, and equity & justice focus on the inclusion of these aspects in adaptation policies and actions. A combination and extent of the presence of these components determines the AE. Adaptation effectiveness metrics are location and sector-specific, covering areas like agriculture, cities, and biodiversity. These metrics help in assessing the effectiveness of adaptation actions in different contexts. The real challenge is in either identifying metrics that work across these diverse sectors or being able to summarize across sectors and geographies. Recommendations include supporting the development of guidance and tools for assessing adaptation effectiveness, developing country-specific frameworks and indicators, and strengthening data collection systems and analytics. Adaptation effectiveness requires a comprehensive approach, regular reevaluation, and quantitative and qualitative measures. It is crucial for informing national and local-level adaptation actions and progress towards global adaptation goals. These takeaways emphasize the importance of holistic approaches, monitoring and evaluation, and integrating equity and justice considerations in adaptation effectiveness efforts.

Cynthia Rosenzweig, Manishka De Mel , Estefania Arteaga, Minpeng Chen, Paul Desanker, Denyse Dookie, Elisabeth Gilmore, Valerie Kapos, Alexandre Magnan, Kavya Michael, Henry Neufeldt, Anand Patwardhan, Liu Wei, Rosalind West, Carolina Zambrano-Barragán