NOV Others


13:00 - 14:30

Event title

Aid for adaptation: Assessing effectiveness


The question of adaptation-related aid effectiveness is critical to ensuring that limited resources are allocated and used in a way that delivers results. Recent studies have differing conclusions on whether or not aid is being prioritized for the most vulnerable countries. Very few analyses have taken the further step to evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation-related ODA in helping developing countries reduce vulnerability and improve resilience to climate change. Invited panelists will briefly present on related topics (e.g. private finance for adaptation and challenges in implementing adaptation projects). The panelists will then engage in a facilitated discussion, with audience participation, to elicit feedback on promising approaches for measuring the effectiveness of climate finance for adaptation.


Adaptation; resilience; aid effectiveness

Speakers Name and Title
  • Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director, Development Co-operation Division, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Eric Williams, Policy Analyst, Climate, Environment and Development Finance, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Satoshi Shigiya, Office of Climate Change Director, Japan International Cooperation Agency (invited)
  • Saleemul Huq, Senior Fellow Climate Change, International Institute for Environment and Development (invited)
  • Easter Galuvao, Environmental Monitoring & Governance Director, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (invited)
  • Yvo de Boer, Founder, Responsability
Organiser / Co-organiser
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Final Programme

Keynote presentation (10 min):

Assessing the Effectiveness of Adaptation-related Development Finance, Eric Williams, Policy Analyst, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate

Moderated panel discussion (40 minutes)

  • Question to Ichiro Sato, Senior Director Office of Climate Change, JICA: What is JICA's approach to measuring the effectiveness of its adaptation-related projects? Does this differ from that used for "standard" development projects?
  • Question to Anne Rasmussen, Assistant CEO Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Government of Samoa: How can countries and development agencies work in partnership to improve the assessment of adaptation effectiveness?
  • Question to Jörg Faust, Director DEval: What can efforts to assess the effectiveness of adaptation interventions learn from the experience of development evaluation more generally?
  • Question to Timo Leiter, Climate Fund Expert, GIZ: How can lessons learned for project and programme evaluations help inform regional or even national approaches to adaptation?
  • Question to all panelists: What further methodological and capacity developments are priorities for better understanding the effectiveness of adaptation interventions?

Open discussion with the audience (35 minutes)

Wrap-up and closing of the side event by the panelists and moderator (5 minutes)

Session Summary

The difficulty of designing and assessing the effectiveness of climate change adaptation-related development co-operation is exacerbated due to the uncertainty of global temperature trajectories and non-linear climate change impacts. Sound planning processes, including projections of local climate change impacts, play a crucial role in designing effective adaptation-related development co-operation interventions, but capacities are often insufficient at the local and national level. Further, tools in increasing the effectiveness of adaptation interventions are National Adaptation Programmes of Action, M+E systems, impacts- and results-based management, mid-term evaluations as well as early warning systems.
In evaluating the effectiveness of adaptation-related development co-operation projects, evaluators assume three functions:

  1. Generating knowledge whether an interventions is effective (or not) and what the driving forces of this (in)effectiveness are. This includes the issue of attribution vs. contributions as well as harmonization of interventions and their approaches in the longer term;
  2. Promoting learning on driving factors for (in)effectiveness, which includes the issue of communicating findings;
  3. Providing democratic accountability to public spending.

Tracking climate change adaptation-related finance is a prerequisite in assessing progress made on climate change adaptation at the local and national levels. The definition of what constitutes ‘adaptation projects’ is crucial, and the OECD’s guideline on the Rio Marker on adaptation is crucial in ensuring coherence across donors’ reporting to the OECD DAC CRS. Harmonising data provided to the OECD DAC CRS and the Convention as well as that provided by developing countries is important. Further, elements of the Paris Agreement, i.e. the global stock take and transparency framework, have increased the importance of monitoring and evaluating adaptation-related development projects.

While there are synergies across measuring progress made on adaptation at the global level, SDGs and Sendai, the different platforms have specific foci such that individual monitoring frameworks should not replace others.

Key Messages
  • Need for a metric to assess adaptive capacities to complement conventional approaches to assess adaptation effectiveness
  • Much information is already available but local capacities are needed to analyse this data to integrate it into local planning and to use it to prioritize effective adaptation interventions in developing countries
  • Evaluation is donor driven, and local stakeholders need to be engaged
  • Need for guidelines for the development of sound adaptation-related projects. Measuring the effectiveness of projects is the end point, but at the beginning of a project is the opportunity to design the project to be effective, and the design phase is where the most effort should be made.
  • Need to communicate lessons-learned
  • Need to merge different disciplines and combine different data sources in assessing adaptation projects

Name and organisation of the person(s) who prepared the summary

Eric Williams, Policy Analyst, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate


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