Integrating Climate Change into USAID Activities
An Analysis of Integration at the Solicitation Level
By Hannah Roeyer
This report analyzes the extent of integration in a sample of USAID requests for proposals and requests for assistance from 2009 (prior to the Global Climate Change Initiative), 2012 and 2014. The sample included all of USAID’s development sectors but excluded solicitations with climate change funding, in order to assess climate change integration across the agency. The scoring of solicitations was supplemented by staff interviews and an online survey to understand why integration was occurring or not. Overall 16% of the solicitations, or 43 or the 268 examined, integrated climate change to some extent. Other key findings include the following.
- A statistically significant increase in climate change integration was found following the initiation of GCC Initiative. Integration was observed in 7.9% of 2009 solicitations, 21.5% of 2012 solicitations, and 15.3% of 2014 solicitations.
- A minority of the activities associated with integrated solicitations – two of 43 – have indirectly attributed to the GCC Initiative to date. USAID can learn more and tell a broader story about climate change integration if indirect reporting is facilitated.
- Both the frequency and thoroughness of integration vary significantly across sectors. Solicitations from sectors that have included climate change in their sectoral strategy are 18.8% more likely to be integrated than those under a sector strategy that does not address climate change.
- Operating units that have received focused climate change funding are 12.6% more likely to integrate climate change into their solicitations. Units without climate change experience have different support needs than those with climate change experience.
- The majority (58%) of integration observed falls into the adaptation category. Mitigation comprises 30% of integration, and non-specific climate change integration was observed in 12% of solicitations.
- There is room to improve the way in which climate change is integrated into RFPs and RFAs, including by addressing climate change in the sections of the RFP or RFA that most impact implementation.
- Almost universally, staff stressed that improved tools and guidance would help them integrate climate change into solicitations more frequently.
- Advocates for climate change in USAID leadership and within each operating unit are key to ensuring climate change considerations are included in relevant strategy, project, and activity design and implementation.
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