Developing National Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation Systems: A Guidebook

Julia Olivier, Hayley Price-Kelly, Anne Hammill, Julie Dekens, Timo Leiter, Julia Olivier
Posted on: 4/11/2024 - Updated on: 4/11/2024

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As more and more governments foster the development and implementation of adaptation plans and policies including the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process agreed by the parties to the UNFCCC, M&E of adaptation at the national level is gaining importance. 

National M&E of adaptation looks at progress towards adaptation in a country. This may involve looking at progress in implementing adaptation-related investments, policies, plans and interventions (process), and/or impacts that these may have (adaptation outcomes). Since climate change affects a broad range of sectors that are critical to a country’s overall development, such as agriculture, water, health, and infrastructure, national M&E of adaptation often requires data and information from across sectors and about interventions taking place at sub-national levels, such as municipal, community, and project levels.

This Guidebook is intended for decision-makers and technical advisors involved in the development of national M&E systems for adaptation, particularly in developing and middle income countries. Its objective is to guide decision-making regarding the purpose, design, operationalisation, and use of results of an appropriate system for national M&E of adaptation. Given its close linkages with the broader development and M&E context in a given country, the Guidebook recognizes that there is no one-size-fits all approach to national M&E of adaptation: Experience shows that decision-makers in different countries have chosen very different approaches depending on the specific context.

This Guidebook therefore leads the reader through a series of questions for consideration, responses to which will provide a basis for identifying practical steps towards the adoption of a national adaptation M&E system that best suits a given country. These questions for consideration are divided into four interrelated building blocks illustrated in the figure on the left and related to: Understanding the context of the M&E system, identifying the content to monitor, designing a process for operationalisation, and deciding how to present results through products that will respond to the purpose of the M&E system.

This guidebook is based on examples from countries that have recently or are currently developing national adaptation M&E systems. It also builds on available publications and tools on M&E of adaptation. Although this Guidebook does not focus exclusively on M&E of the NAP process, it addresses related issues and points readers to relevant sections of the NAP Technical Guidelines, as well as to M&E tools that have been specifically designed for monitoring the NAP process.


Price-Kelly, H., Hammill, A., Dekens, J., Leiter, T.,  Olivier, J. (2015). Developing national adaptation monitoring and evaluation systems: A guidebook. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Affiliated Organizations

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG), e International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

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