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  1. Ensuring adequate financial means to implement the adaptation measures is an important precondition for success. To accurately assess the costs of implementing measures that are necessary and the revenues of these investments in terms of risk avoidance or reduction, it is essential to understand the long-term value of having adequate financial means in place. The cost of implementation should, in general, be borne by each country. Governments should therefore ensure that appropriate resources are available. Many of the proposed actions here can be incorporated into ongoing development work in the water sector, e.g. no-regret measures. Some actions can be more easily carried out as subregional or region-wide projects.

  2. Governments should consider using budgets and economic incentives to finance adaptation measures. Efforts should be made to include these in relevant bilateral and multilateral programmes. Partnerships can be formed and should be encouraged to seek support, including in-kind contributions, from international funding agencies and the private sector. Financial assistance to certain parts of the region, in particular Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia and South-Eastern Europe, is crucial to help those countries to start the process.

VIII.1Adaptation Fund of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

  1. The objective of the UNFCCC Adaptation Fund23 is to help finance adaptation to climate change in poor countries. Unlike other funds that are dependent on voluntary contributions, the Adaptation Fund is designed to draw resources from a 2 per cent levy on carbon credit sales through the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.


  1. This chapter will introduce frameworks to evaluate adaptation strategies. Evaluation is a process for determining systematically and objectively the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and impact of the adaptation strategies in the light of their objectives. Evaluating adaptation strategies is imperative to assessing the effectiveness of adaptation strategies and thereby identifying and measuring the ability to cope with short- to long-term threats. Evaluation should guide and support governmental decision-making and policymaking, as well as international aid and investment. It should support decisions prioritizing strategies and initiatives that reduce vulnerability.


  1. As explained in the previous chapters, analyses of current and future vulnerabilities and risks as well as of existing policies are the basis for the developing good adaptation strategies. Evaluation and monitoring activities are essential for verifying the efficiency of the measures taken and facilitate adjustments.

  2. Evaluation is carried out during implementation (ongoing evaluation), at the completion of a project (final evaluation), and some years after completion (post evaluation). Much of the evaluation activity can be based on self-assessment of the responsible operational staff, but external evaluation is also a common and beneficial practice.

  3. Evaluating adaptation strategies includes evaluating the constituent elements of a given strategy; the policy, legal and institutional setting, vulnerability assessment; and the choice of measures. It also includes monitoring the adaptation progress.

  4. Evaluation of an adaptation strategy starts off with assessing the progress achieved towards the objectives of the strategy. The next step is to determine if the policy as formulated is implemented and if it functions as intended. The legal framework as well as the institutional setting of the strategy should be assessed concerning their contribution to the strategy. Next to that, the financial arrangements should be evaluated.

  5. Evaluating vulnerability assessment includes assessing if sufficient relevant information was available. Also the extent to which the scenario that was selected as the basis for the vulnerability assessment has enfolded in reality and if the output of the models reflects the actual situation transpiring. Finally, the relevance of the assumptions for the vulnerability assessment should be assessed.

  6. Monitoring the progress in adaptation includes collecting information on all these elements as well as on the progress made vis-à-vis achieving objectives. Table 3 provides an overview of possible indicators that can be applied to assess the progress made. It distinguishes between the national adaptation strategy level and the level of concrete measures. The latter can also be linked to projects. On the measure or project level, distinction is made between the outcomes of the measures (in terms of effects on the reduction of vulnerability and increased adaptive capacity) and the output of the measures (in terms of the strategy chosen, the developed or implemented policy, and the concrete activities).

Table 3: Illustrative matrix mapping the strategy level goal, objective and indicators to measure level outcomes, outputs and indicators

Strategy level

Measure/project level



Strategy Indicators


Outcome Indicators


Output Indicators

Climate proofing

Vulnerability reduction
Adaptive capacity enhanced



Sustainability Replicability

Outcome 1

Outcome 2

Outcome x

Coverage Impact

Sustainability Replicability




  1. The four types of outcome indicators shown measure the success of projects:

  • Coverage: the extent to which projects reach vulnerable stakeholders (e.g. individuals, households, businesses, government agencies, policymakers) and the ecosystem;

  • Impact: the extent to which projects reduce vulnerability and/or enhance adaptive capacity (e.g. through bringing about changes in adaptation processes: policymaking/planning, capacity-building/awareness-raising, information management).

  • Sustainability: the ability of stakeholders to continue the adaptation processes beyond project lifetimes, thereby sustaining development benefits;

  • Replicability: the extent to which projects generate and disseminate results and lessons of value in other, comparable contexts.

  1. Sound evaluations can be carried out with simple, careful examinations of success, relative to what was expected. The following list provides examples of questions that can contribute to this evaluation:

  1. If, for instance, adaptation involved investing in a protection project in response to a climate hazard, then the evaluation should determine if losses have continued, grown or been abated;

  2. If the protection project simply tried to reduce sensitivity to extreme events, has it worked, and how?

  3. Have episodes of intolerable exposure become more or less frequent?

  4. Has the definition of “intolerable” in terms of physical effects changed?

  5. Has the investment expanded the coping range, reduced exposure to intolerable outcomes that exceed the range, or both?

  6. Have things stayed the same or grown worse because the adaptation was ineffective, or because unanticipated stresses have aggravated the situation?

  7. Is there a causal relationship?

  1. The purpose of this exercise is to determine whether or not the objectives of an adaptation project have been satisfied. More complete evaluations of specific adaptations should identify the root causes of both successes and failures. A questionnaire specific to the particular adaptation can be constructed to understand the reasons why an adaptation succeeded or failed to meet its objectives.

IX.2Learning by doing

  1. Exploring the success or failure of the adaptation process depends on more than just the success or failure of implemented projects or strategies. More significantly, it depends upon the concept of learning by doing. This approach enables users to:

  • Undertake midcourse corrections in implemented adaptations, so that they meet their objectives more efficiently;

  • Improve their understanding of the determinants of adaptive capacity, so that capacity development activities can be more successful from the start.

  1. To learn from mistakes and successes, it is important to combine these insights to:

  • Compare actual experience with the initial characterization, and with the criteria;

  • Construct a revised adaptation baseline that describes how the system would have performed in the absence of the implemented adaptation.

IX.2.1Participatory evaluation

  1. Participatory processes in support of adaptation can add value and enhance feasibility. Engaging as many stakeholders as possible can democratize the overall process of adapting to climate change, including variability. It follows that participatory evaluation can be productive, but care must be taken to note the potential pitfalls. For example, stakeholder engagement can uncover obstacles such as a healthy degree of initial scepticism on the part of stakeholders about the information provided by government.

IX.2.2Social, economic, political and ethical considerations

  1. In evaluating adaptation strategies, it is necessary to (re)consider the social, economic, political and ethical implications of each adaptation measures. The impacts on all stakeholders need to be considered.


Issues relevant to other water-related sectors have been addressed, as appropriate in all other chapters; it will be decided at a later stage whether there is a need to include them in a separate chapter or leave them as an integral part of other chapters.



    For the purpose of this guidance, the following definitions should be considered:

    Adaptability / Adaptive Capacity: in the context of both social and natural systems, adaptive capacity is the ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences24.

    Adaptation strategy: The adaptation strategy for a country, a basin, or part thereof, refers to a general plan of action for addressing the impacts of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. It will include a mix of policies and measures with the overarching objective of reducing the country’s vulnerability25.

    Climate model: A numerical representation of the climate system based on the physical, chemical and biological properties of its components and their interactions and feedback processes, accounting for all or some of the system’s known properties26.

    Climate scenario: A plausible and often simplified representation of the future climate, based on an internally consistent set of climatological relationships and assumptions of radiative forcing, typically constructed for explicit use as input to climate change impact models.27

    Coping capacity: The means by which people or organizations use available resources and abilities to face adverse consequences that could lead to a disaster. In general, this involves managing resources, both in normal times as well as during crises or adverse conditions. The strengthening of coping capacities usually builds up the resilience to withstand the effects of natural and human-induced hazards.28

    Downscaling: A method that derives local- to regional-scale (10 to 100 km) information from larger-scale models or data analyses.

    Emission scenario: A plausible representation of the future development of emissions of substances that are potentially radiatively active (e.g., greenhouse gases, aerosols), based on a coherent and internally consistent set of assumptions about driving forces (e.g. demographic and socio-economic development, technological change) and their key relationships.29

    Hydrologic model: A simplified, conceptual representations of a part of the hydrologic cycle, primarily used for hydrologic prediction and for understanding hydrologic processes. Hydrological models can be based on statistical approaches (black box systems) or based on process descriptions (known as deterministic hydrology models), in the effort to represent the physical processes observed in the real world.

Local: refers to all relevant levels of territorial unit below the level of the State.30

Mitigation: is an anthropogenic intervention to reduce the anthropogenic forcing of the climate system; it includes strategies to reduce greenhouse gas sources and emissions and to enhance greenhouse gas sinks.31

    Resilience: The ability of a social or ecological system to absorb disturbances while retaining the same basic structure and ways of functioning, the capacity for self-organization, and the capacity to adapt to stress and change.32

    Scenario: A plausible and often simplified description of how the future may develop, based on a coherent and internally consistent set of assumptions about driving forces and key relationships.

    Socio-economic scenarios: Scenarios concerning future conditions in terms of population, gross domestic product and other socio-economic factors relevant to understanding the implications of climate change.33

    Vulnerability: Vulnerability is the degree to which a system is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes.34

1 Emergency Events Database (EM_DAT) of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), 2007.

2 See also the United Nations Development Programme’s Adaptation Policy Frameworks (APFs) for Climate Change. APFs focus on adaptation measures that are in line with a country's broader development goals, and highlight the ”bottom-up“ approach increasingly used by policymakers and scientists.

3 The complete text of the IHR (2005) can be downloaded from: (accessed 9 May 2008).

4 Decision 9/CP.13, paragraphs 14 and 15 (FCCC/CP/2007/6/Add.1), amended the New Delhi Work Programme on article 6 of the UNFCCC. The thirteenth session was held from 3 to 15 December 2007 in Bali, Indonesia.

5 Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000, establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.

6 (2007/60/EC).

7 Commission Decision 2000/57/EC of 22 December 1999; Official Journal of the European Communities L 21/30 dd 26.1.2000.

8 Commission Decision 2000/96/EC of 22 December 1999; Official Journal of the European Communities L28/50 dd. 3.2.2000.

9 Commission Decision 2002/253/EC of 19 March 2002; Official Journal of the European Communities L86/44 dd 3.4.2002.

10 Decision 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 1998; Official Journal of the European Communities L268/1 dd 3.10.1998.


12 Turton, A. R. and others (eds.) (2007). Governance as a Trialogue: Government-Society-Science in Transition. Berlin, Springer-Verlag..

13 See also the UNECE Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development (CEP/AC.13/2005/3/Rev.1).

14 Available at:

15 Emergency Events Database (EM_DAT) of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), 2007.

16 WMO Congress General XIII adopted Resolution 25

17 IPCC 2000. Emissions Scenarios – A Special Report of IPCC Working Group III.

18 Examples of measures are included in tables 1 and 2.

19 Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: ISDR International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Available at:

20 Health systems comprise all organizations, institutions and resources devoted to improving, maintaining and restoring health.

21 Menne, B. et al. (2008), “Protecting HEALTH in Europe from climate change”, WHO-Europe.

22 Michael Becker, Bavarian State Ministry for Environment, Health and Consumer Protection “Climate change and water management in the German Danube region” – presentation to the International Conference on Adaptation of Water Management to Effects of Climate Change in the Danube River Basin, Vienna3 December 2007. Available at: accessed 2 June 2008.


24 IPCC, 2007.

25 UNDP, 2004: Adaptation Policy Frameworks for Climate Change. Developing Strategies, Policies and Measures. Annex A. Glossary of Terms.

26 IPCC, 2008: Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Appendix 1- Glossary.

27 IPCC, 2008: Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Appendix 1- Glossary.

28 ISDR Terminology of disaster risk reduction, viewed June 2008,

29 IPCC, 2008: Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Appendix 1- Glossary.

30 Protocol on Water and Health.

31 IPCC 2008: Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Appendix 1- Glossary

32 IPCC 2008: Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Appendix 1- Glossary

33 IPCC 2008: Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Appendix 1- Glossary

34 IPCC 2008: Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Appendix 1- Glossary

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