Incorporate Results of the Project-Level Climate Risk Assessment

Incorporating results is the third phase of climate risk management for projects, after conducting the project-level climate risk assessment.

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Climate Risk Management for Project Design and Implementation: Phase 3.
The third phase of climate risk management for projects is incorporating the results of the climate risk assessment. Incorporating results involves refining objectives, incorporating into the project appraisal document (PAD), and documenting results in the environmental compliance analysis. You may navigate this graphic to jump directly to the specific steps of incorporating the results of the assessment, or to jump to other phases of the CRM process.

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

CRM Resources for Incorporating Assessment Results

  • Climate Risk Management in Action (examples of CRM)
  • USAID staff may consult internal resources such as the Agency intranet or their mission’s Climate Integration Lead.

A. Refine Project Objectives

Depending on the timing and results of the assessment, design teams may need to refine project objectives in order to address identified risks. This kind of decision should be made before or while articulating the project’s theory of change. For example, if a food security project aims to improve beef production, but the climate risk assessment finds a high risk that heat stress due to rising temperatures would negatively affect the cattle, the design team may adjust the objective so that the project can consider more heat-tolerant livestock (e.g., sheep or goats). At a minimum, the climate risk management measures identified during the assessment should be explicitly incorporated in the design. While managing climate risks does not always entail additional costs (and may actually result in cost savings), explicitly specifying CRM actions in the design helps ensure budgets are accurate. Likewise, it clarifies what climate expertise is needed for activity design and implementation.

B. Incorporate Assessment Results into Project Documents (PAD)

Design teams must incorporate the results of the climate risk assessment in the project appraisal document (PAD). In addition to reflecting the CRM measures in the theory of change (see previous step), the PAD narrative must include:

  • A summary of the climate risk assessment methods,
  • A summary of the most significant (i.e., moderate and high) climate risks to the project and a description of how the project will address those risks (note, if risks are rated low, the summary only needs to explain the low rating),
  • An explanation of the rationale behind acceptance of any moderate and high risks, and
  • A summary of how CRM will continue through activity design and implementation (including risks that will be addressed as well as further risk analysis to be conducted, if any).

In addition to the narrative summary, the climate risk assessment results table (see CRM Guidance, Table 1) and a description of the risk assessment methodology must be included in the Summary of Conclusions from Analyses section of the PAD.

Finally, the PAD narrative should describe opportunities to strengthen climate resilience identified during the climate risk assessment process. These opportunities, which should be documented in the climate risk assessment results table, may also be incorporated during activity design or implementation.

C. Document Assessment Results in Environmental Compliance Analysis

The climate risk assessment results table (noted above) must be included in the project’s Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) or other Environmental Compliance Analyses. The table includes project elements, climate risks, risk ratings, how risks are addressed and incorporated in the project design, next steps including additional analyses, and opportunities. The Environmental Compliance Database has examples of how climate risk assessments have been documented in environmental compliance analyses (note: a search method is coming soon). Documenting the assessment results helps demonstrate compliance with the CRM policy and can serve as a reference for those who need to refer to the assessment later. This documentation also supports learning and improvement of CRM across the Agency.