Climate Risk Management at the Project Level

This page introduces the implementation of climate risk management (CRM) for projects. CRM is also implemented for strategies and activities.

C R M f o r S t r a t e g i e s C l i m a t e R i s k M a n a g e m e n t f o r P r o j e c t D e s i g n a n d I m p l e m e n t a t i o n I . P l a n f o r A s s e s s m e n t » « I I . C o n d u c t A s s e s s m e n t « I I I . I n c o r p o r a t e R e s u l t s I V . I m p l e m e n t & M a n a g e » C R M f o r A c t i v i t i e s
Climate Risk Management for Project Design and Implementation.
This graphic and the eLearning tool emphasize that climate risk management (CRM) is iterative and an integral part of program design and implementation, not a separate process. You may navigate this graphic to jump directly to the specific phases of the CRM process.

At USAID, project design entails defining how to achieve results to ensure that efforts are complementary and aligned in support of a strategy. Each project design typically incorporates multiple activities organized around, and implemented to achieve, a common purpose.

Climate risk management at the project level involves a careful examination of climate risks that can be addressed through project design as well as climate risks that may be possible to address during activity design and implementation. CRM at this stage also elucidates and informs further analyses that may be needed later in the program cycle to manage climate risks.

Although USAID policy allows flexibility in application of CRM, the process generally comprises four phases (with several steps within each phase):

  1. Plan for Assessment
  2. Conduct Assessment
  3. Incorporate Results
  4. Implement and Adaptively Manage

The graphic and eLearning tool aim to help USAID staff and partners think about how these phases and steps are integrated into project planning and implementation. The order of the steps within phases is flexible and may be tailored to each mission’s or operating unit’s situation.

Climate expertise is not necessarily required for CRM. The most important thing is that those responsible for project design and implementation participate in CRM. In the explanations below and the eLearning tool, we refer to these people as the “design team.”

CRM Resources for Project Design

The first phase of climate risk management entails planning for an assessment of climate risks and opportunities. Planning involves two major steps, the order of which is not strict:

  • Review Previously Completed Screening(s)
  • Determine Assessment Approach

Conducting a climate risk assessment consists of three interrelated steps:

  1. Assess Climate Risks and Opportunities
  2. Address Climate Risks
  3. Plan for Adaptive Management

The assessment also involves consideration of opportunities to enhance results and build climate resilience.

Assessment teams have flexibility in the approach and resources they use to conduct the assessment. Using USAID’s Climate Risk Screening and Management Tool (CRM Tool) provides a systematic framework to help teams assess and address risks holistically. The tool’s sector-specific annexes provide examples of climate risks, CRM measures, and opportunities.

To realize the benefits of conducting the climate risk assessment and be able to address and adaptively manage risks during activity design and implementation, design teams must incorporate assessment results into project design. Incorporating CRM into project designs facilitates consideration of climate risks during activity design and implementation. Incorporating assessment results involves these three steps:

  1. Refine Project Objectives
  2. Incorporate in Project Documents (PAD)
  3. Document in Environmental Compliance Analysis

Climate risk management should be incorporated as appropriate into monitoring, evaluation and learning as well as into activities that flow from the project to ensure climate risks are addressed and adaptively managed. This phase involves the following three steps:

  1. Incorporate in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Processes
  2. Incorporate in Activities
  3. Periodically Assess and Adjust