Monitoring and Evaluating Mainstreamed Adaptation to Climate Change: A Synthesis Study on Climate Change in Development Cooperation

Ayesha Dinshaw
Posted on: 2/26/2020 - Updated on: 1/04/2024

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As a signatory to the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the Netherlands has pledged to assist developing countries in several areas in adapting to climate change. Its current ambition is to increase contributions to international climate financing towards EUR 80 million annually. Half of this amount will be allocated to a new fund for climate and development, with an emphasis on financing climate adaptation. In addition, it wants to promote knowledge of climate adaptation in developing countries through the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation.

We need evaluations of climate change policies and interventions to know whether the joint efforts by governments, the private sector and civil society will generate progress in climate mitigation and adaptation. Do they really make a difference across generations and on a global scale? Can they be improved to generate more value added?

Efforts to reduce poverty and improve economic development increasingly take climate risks into account. This so-called ‘mainstreaming’ of climate adaptation into development interventions can have many benefits. For instance, they can protect investments from having negative climate impacts, thus making a more efficient and effective use of limited resources. At the same time, mainstreaming may also blur the boundaries between regular development activities and climate adaptation interventions, thus posing challenges for monitoring and evaluating their impact and coherence.

We therefore invited Ayesha Dinshaw, associate on climate resilience at the World Resources Institute (WRI), to write this synthesis study on monitoring and evaluating climate adaptation. It explores what climate adaptation interventions that are mainstreamed into development programming may look like, and what challenges these pose for monitoring and evaluating. It also examines which methodological approaches and types of evaluation could meet these challenges.