Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: Recent Approaches and Results
This paper summarizes the results of a March 2013 USAID-sponsored workshop that examined climate change vulnerability and risk assessments and how to improve them.
These assessments are conducted to better understand the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of human populations to climate change. Forty-one participants concluded that these are most effective when they are designed to answer specific questions; are based on a clear and focused research framework; engage local decision-makers; generate an evidence base to monitor vulnerability over time; and integrate good governance.
Participants said USAID can improve future vulnerability and risk assessments by:
- Working with assessment experts to develop well-defined objectives and improve the quality of recommendations
- Coordinating with local institutions to strengthen results and build support for sustained impacts
- Using the process as a way to strengthen donor coordination and enhance programming synergies
- Developing and maintaining a realistic timeframe for completion
- Ensuring that a participatory options analysis is part of the assessment design and sharing results with appropriate host-country stakeholders
- Focusing on realistic recommendations based on existing institutional capacity, participatory input, anticipated costs of implementation, and an analysis of impact.