M&E (incl. Reporting)

Keeping track of climate
adaptation progress

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) supports to understand whether progress has been made in implementing adaptation measures and achieving their aims. M&E can provide the basis for learning, accountability and reporting at the national, subnational and project levels.

Adaptation Reporting represents a central mechanism not only for gathering evidence of adaptation action, but also for keeping track of adaptation planning processes and reporting on progress made of its implementation and effectiveness of action.

The Adaptation Communication Drafting Assistance Tool (AdComm-DAT) aims to support countries in formulating their adaptation communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of adaptation supports keeping track of the implementation of adaptation plans and actions and assessing their effectiveness and outcomes in alignment with the Paris Agreement.

Adaptation M&E can focus on the process of adaptation (i.e. is implementation taking place?) as well as on its outcomes (i.e. whether the objectives of adaptation actions are achieved).

M&E of climate adaptation differs from M&E of mitigation (also called MRV), because adaptation is context-specific and there is no global success indicator for adaptation similar to “reduction in GHG-emissions”. Adaptation M&E systems and indicators therefore need to fit to the respective context and purpose.

The use of adaptation indicators is common but has certain limitations that need to be considered.

  • Adaptation M&E can support the ongoing management of adaptation interventions by assessing progress and pointing out needs for adjustments.
  • Adaptation M&E can support learning and exchange about what works well and what does not, thereby helping to improve adaptation actions.
  • Adaptation M&E can provide accountability by demonstrating and reporting on results.

The Paris Agreement calls for enhanced transparency of adaptation actions and encourages Parties to share information on adaptation progress. The Global Stocktake will assess the collective achievement towards the goals of the agreement every five years, including progress on adaptation. Country-specific adaptation M&E systems can generate information that supports planning and decision making and facilitates implementation of the Paris Agreement. The first Global Stocktake is currently underway and will be concluded at COP28 this year (2023).

M&E of climate adaptation can be done for a variety of purposes, for instance to monitor adaptation projects, the implementation of a national action plan, or the achievement of NDC goals.

Each of these purposes may require different methods, e.g. depending on whether the primary focus is on management, learning or accountability. M&E approaches also differ according to the level of application, e.g. whether M&E is undertaken at the project level, the national level or across levels. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits all approach for adaptation M&E.

Key considerations for designing adaptation M&E systems include the context, the M&E purpose, the target audience and the available resources.

The Adaptation M&E Navigator provides orientation and suggests relevant M&E methods.

Countries are increasingly developing national adaptation M&E systems. A study by IISD & GIZ (2014) introduces ten such systems with detailed factsheets (factsheets updated mid-2017).

So far, there is far more emphasis on monitoring than on evaluation. Methods available for impact evaluation of adaptation projects are summarized in a guidebook.

Lessons learned from early experiences with adaptation M&E at national level are described in a comparative analysis and have informed a guidebook to develop adaptation M&E systems at national level.

GIZ’s experience in supporting partner countries in the development of adaptation M&E systems has been compiled in a submission to the Nairobi Work Programme in 2017

M&E provides a basis for learning, accountability and reporting. The GIZ has developed several tools to facilitate the application of M&E at national and subnational level.

The graphic below shows the tools available for adaptation M&E and their application level (national, project or multi-level). The navigation on the right leads to further details including publications translated into Spanish and French. Directly clicking on any gear-wheel is a shortcut to open the English publication.

A number of guidelines and tools have been developed and are shown in the graphic above. Please click on any of the gear-wheels or use the navigation to get more details. You can also check out our webinars and trainings.

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As at 09/2021