Specific purpose #4: Tracking which adaptation activities are taking place at national or subnational level

Approach: Database of adaptation activities
ProspectGetting an overview of adaptation activities by various organisations in a given country or geographical area.
Potential use of M&E findingsA continuous stocktaking of existing adaptation initiatives can be the basis for sharing of experiences and to identify which adaptation needs are addressed and which are not.
DescriptionAn online database where adaptation activities can be registered. A template may be used to enter information such as objective and target group, how the activity contributes to adaptation, a summary of the project as well as information about the implementing organization, funding source, location and duration. The information may be submitted directly by users and quality checked before upload.
Benefits and limitationsA database of adaptation(-related) activities can assist government and non-government actors to monitor the extent of adaptation actions and identify possible gaps. Public access to the database can facilitate information sharing among involved actors. It can also inform the assessment of adaptation progress at national level.
Limitations may arise concerning the quality, scope and timeliness of the information. Care should be taken to ensure every entry specifies how it contributes to adaptation. The database could otherwise be seen as arbitrary on what to count as adaptation. Depending on the extent of data verification by the host institution of the database, the information may be incomplete or incorrect which could reduce the credibility and usefulness of the database. A further common disadvantage of public registries is the lack of updates of individual entries which limits the ability to monitor progress over time.
Resources neededSignificant resources can be required for the initial design and programming of the database. Resources during operation depend largely on how much staff capacity is assigned to manage and promote the database and how much is needed for ongoing maintenance and updates of IT systems and equipment.
Example from practice• The South African National Climate Change Response Database contains more than one hundred adaptation activities which are mapped by location. Upon login users can retrieved information about each or submit their own adaptation activities.
• German Federal Environment Agency’s database of adaptation actions
• In addition to national databases there are also international ones including the Adaptation Learning Mechanism (adaptationlearning.net), weAdapt.org as well as the Climate Impacts: Global and Regional Adaptation Support Platform (cigrasp.org).
LinksSouth African National Climate Change Response Database
Database of sub-national adaptation activities in Germany [only available in German]
UNDP’s Adaptation Learning Mechanism
Adaptation project database of cigrasp.org