Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation for Adaptation Planning in the Agriculture Sectors

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and United Nations Development Programme
Posted on: 1/15/2024 - Updated on: 1/15/2024

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The importance of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of climate change adaptation has been highlighted at global level, including under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement. Simultaneously, adaptation M&E systems are beginning to emerge at the national level in the context of national planning and budgeting processes. This technical guidance note details how to develop M&E systems for adaptation planning in agriculture sectors. 

The first section of the guide introduces the general concept of M&E, then outlines M&E of adaptation specifically and explains how adaptation M&E relates to the agriculture sectors. The second section provides an overview of the steps needed to design an adaptation M&E framework and plan for agriculture sectors. This note provides guidance mainly for technical staff working to strengthen M&E of adaptation in agriculture sectors. It is also relevant for policy and decision makers engaged in broader national adaptation and development planning, budgeting and implementation processes in which agriculture forms a key component.

Section 1 introduces key M&E concepts, explains the relevance of climate change adaptation, and frames the global policy context for M&E of adaptation. It presents the reasons for carrying out adaptation M&E, which include enhancing learning on adaptation, carrying out flexible management of adaptation under climate uncertainty, ensuring accountability for national decision makers and donors, and compliance with national and international reporting requirements. The section then presents some of the challenges of long-term measurement of adaptation results, both at the national level and across sectors.

Section 2 proposes a seven-step process to support the development of M&E systems for adaptation planning in agriculture sectors. This process can track progress in two ways: i.) progress in implementing adaptation programme portfolios or policies in the agriculture sectors, and ii.) progress towards achieving adaptation outcomes in the agriculture sectors, measured by how successful these interventions and policies are at reducing vulnerability, improving adaptive capacity, and supporting the overall well-being of different populations affected by the impacts of climate change.

  • Step 1: Understanding the policy context
  • Step 2: Developing a shared adaptation goal and pathways for integrating adaptation in the agriculture sector
  • Step 3: Defining the purpose and focus of the monitoring and evaluation framework
  • Step 4: Developing an monitoring and evaluation framework for adaptation in the agriculture sector
  • Step 5: Identifying indicators to track adaptation in the agriculture sector
  • Step 6: Identifying the sources and type of data and information required for each indicator
  • Step 7: Operationalising monitoring and evaluation for adaptation decision-making in the agriculture sector


FAO and UNDP (2019). Strengthening monitoring and evaluation for adaptation planning in the agriculture sectors. Rome.

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