Adaptation to climate variability and change: A guidance manual for development planning
Climate change may pose risks and/or create opportunities for development efforts in many countries. The USAID Global Climate Change Team developed this Adaptation Guidance Manual to assist Missions and other partners to understand how climate change may affect their project outcomes and identify adaptation options to integrate into the design for more resilient projects. In developing the Manual we worked under the following assumptions:
- Climate variability already impacts economic sectors in developing countries and addressing climate variability and change will be important for the long-term success of development assistance;
- Project managers and stakeholders will know more about a project than we will (or than a tool can anticipate); project managers are already dealing with uncertainty such as weather and markets;
- We can assist missions/project managers/project designers by providing methods and information (and we are developing a tool to provide access to appropriate climate information, past and future) to facilitate assessment of possible impacts and adaptation options for projects;
- Stakeholder involvement is critical – local knowledge and memory of climate changes over time can help identify adaptation options; building stakeholder ownership of project design and implementation is key to project success.
- The methods employed should be simple enough to meet needs in the field, but provide rigorous enough information on which to base decisions.
This Adaptation Guidance Manual is the first of several tools we are developing to assist planners and stakeholders as they cope with a changing climate. As we work with Missions to apply the methods described here, we will revise the Manual to reflect Mission feedback and needs. We will also develop additional tools as needed. We look forward to working with Missions and other development partners to build more robust and resilient development activities.