Monitoring & Evaluation

Keeping track of climate
adaptation progress

National-level adaptation M&E

Effectively managing adaptation to climate change at the national level requires an understanding of whether adaptation is taking place and what the outcomes of adaptation are. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) can support government and non-government organizations in assessing the results of their adaptation efforts and tracking progress towards climate resilient development. GIZ has developed a number of support tools to inform the development of national adaptation M&E systems

A guidebook for the development of (sub)national adaptation M&E systems


This guidebook provides orientation for the development of (sub)national adaptation M&E systems. It takes a step-by-step approach, providing reference to existing approaches and practical examples at each step. The guidebook serves as supplementary material to the UNFCCC NAP Technical Guidelines established by the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG).

Target Group: Policy-makers and technical advisors involved in the development of (sub)national adaptation M&E systems

Type of resource: Step-by-step guide


A Guidebook to develop national Adaptation M&E Systems (GIZ & IISD 2015)

Développer des systèmes nationaux de suivi et évaluation de l’adaptation : guide méthodologique (GIZ & IISD 2015)

Desarrollo de Sistemas Nacionales de Monitoreo y Evaluación de la Adaptación: una Guía (GIZ & IISD 2015)


An overview and analysis of national adaptation M&E systems

A Factsheet series about national adaptation M&E systems has been published in 2014 updated in 2017. The series builds on an initial study from 2014, which you can find below. Each factsheet is describing the national adaptation M&E system in detail including the institutional arrangements, the M&E method and the data and indicators used. The intention is to make national adaptation M&E systems more tangible and illustrate how they can be designed. The factsheets are available in English, French and Spanish.

Examples for English M&E Factsheets

Examples for French M&E Factsheets
Examples for Spanish M&E Factsheets

The series was initially published as part of the 2014 study “Monitoring and Evaluating Adaptation at Aggregated Levels: A comparative analysis of ten systems”. In 2017 many factsheets were updated to document the progress made.

This study analyses ten national adaptation M&E systems (France, Germany, Kenya, Mekong River Commission, Morocco, Nepal, Norway, Philippines, PPCR and UK). A factsheet for each country or organization is describing the adaptation M&E system in detail, including the institutional arrangements, the M&E method and the data and indicators used. The intention of the study is to make national adaptation M&E systems more tangible and illustrate how they can be designed. Adaptation indicators used by the examined countries are compiled in a separate repository (see below “Repository of Adaptation Indicators“), which explains their relevance for adaptation and provides details on data sources and calculation.

Target Group: Individuals involved or interested in national adaptation M&E systems

Type of resource: Study and practical case descriptions



Comparative analysis of 10 adaptation M&E systems at the national level (8.4 MB)
This report presents a comparative analysis of 10 existing national adaptation M&E systems and a factsheets for each to quickly grasp and learn from these cases.

Seguimiento y Evaluación de la Adaptación a Niveles Agregados: Un Análisis Comparativo de Diez Sistemas (8.8 MB)
Spanish Translation of the Comparative Analysis of ten national Adaptation M&E Systems

Suivre et évaluer l’adaptation au changement climatique à haut niveau (9.4 MB)
French Translation of the Comparative Analysis of ten national Adaptation M&E Systems

Systematic collection of adaptation indicators of national-level adaptation M&E systems


The repository of adaptation indicators is intended to illustrate possible adaptation indicators and their application context, thereby supporting the context – specific formulation of indicators. The repository systematically presents various indicators for four focus areas:

  • climate parameters
  • climate change impacts
  • adaptation actions
  • adaptation results

The examples have been taken from currently proposed national adaptation M&E systems (i.e. they reflect the first generation of indicators). For each indicator, its adaptation relevance, limitations, data needs and sources are described.

The repository is meant to illustrate possible indicators – their applicability to other contexts needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It is an output of the study on ► “Monitoring and Evaluating Adaptation at Aggregated Levels: A comparative analysis of ten systems”. The repository is available as PDF as well as as Excel file. Please note that the Excel file is also embedded in the PDF and can be extracted by opening it and clicking on the attachment symbol in the bar on the left.

Target Group: Individuals involved or interested in national adaptation M&E systems

Type of resource: Repository of indicators


Repository of adaptation indicatots at national level (PDF) – GIZ 2014 (1.6 MB)
Illustrative repository of adaptation indicators including their application context from numerous countries. It includes an identical Excel file as attachment.

Repository of adaptation indicators at national level (Excel) – GIZ 2014 (193.4 KB)
Excel file of the repository (Content identical to the PDF version)

Repositorio de Indicadores de Adaptación – GIZ 2014 (1.6 MB)
Spanish Translation of the Repository of Adaptation Indicators

An approach to monitor climate resilience at the national level


The discussion paper by GIZ and the United Nations University specifies resilience as consisting of three different capacities: absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacity. Each capacity can be described along five dimensions: social, ecological, economic, physical, and institutional. Taken together, this understanding of resilience leads to the climate resilience matrix (capacities times dimensions), which forms the foundation to assess resilience.

The discussion paper suggests two approaches for an assessment: defining (proxy) indicators for each dimension of each capacity or employing household surveys. A list of generic indicators with global data availability is provided, although applications need to be tailored to the needs and objectives of each country.

Target Group: Technical advisors and policy makers, implementing agencies and NGOs

Type of resource: Conceptual framework, repository of indicators


Assessing and Monitoring Climate Resilience (2.6 MB)
Assessing and Monitoring Climate Resilience. Discussion paper.

Assessing and Monitoring Climate Resilience – List of Indicators – GIZ 2014 (109.8 KB)

Valoración y Seguimiento de la Resiliencia Climática (1.8 MB)
Un Documento de Debate. (Spanish Translation of “Assessing and Monitoring climate resilience”)

An approach to assess capacities for implementing NDCs


SNAP is a tool to assess, enhance, and monitor a country’s capacity for adaptation planning. This publication showcases the use of the tool and highlights results from its application in various geographical terrains on a national and subnational scale. The SNAP tool is one of the most widely used tools in GIZ’s armory of support instruments for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process.

If you have questions or comments on the SNAP tool please, contact

Target Group: NAP focal points, technical support units for NAP, donor agencies, organizations supporting NAP planning, and the wider public interested in the NAP process

Type of resource: Conceptual framework and practical case descriptions


SNAP: Stocktaking for National Adaptation Planning – Assessing Capacity for Implementing NDCs (English)

The following presents a number of further resources on adaptation M&E with a particular focus on applications at the national level.

IIED’s Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD) approach focuses on monitoring climate risk management (institutions, policies, capacities) as well as adaptation and development outcomes. Scorecards can be used to tailor indicators to the respective context. TAMD has been applied in several countries at national and community level. The Government of Cambodia, for instance, has decided to use TAMD for its national adaptation M&E framework. GIZ has partnered with IIED to develop sector specific indicators in Cambodia for health, agriculture and transportation. The Cambodian M&E framework and sector indicators are described in a detailed report from 2015. All TAMD resources, including a step-by-step guide, are available on IIED’s website.

UKCIP, as part of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, has developed a synthesis of tools, frameworks and approaches for the monitoring & evaluation for climate change adaptation and resilience (2014). It also has published guidance notes related to M&E of adaptation: Twelve reasons why climate change adaptation M&E is challengingSelecting indicators for climate change adaptation programmingTheory of Change approach to climate change adaptation programming.

In 2015 the online community of practice Climate-Eval published a good practice study on “Principles for Indicator Development, Selection, and Use in Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation”.

In relation to the German Adaptation Strategy, Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA) developed an indicator system (English Summary: p. 1-15) to monitor climate change impacts and adaptation responses. The monitoring system is also described in this factsheet as part of GIZ’s comparative analysis study of adaptation M&E systems. The first adaptation monitoring report based on the indicator system was published in 2015 (currently only available in German).

The OECD published a report on methodological challenges of adaptation M&E in 2014 and a report on early practices of national adaptation M&E systems including case studies of Germany, Kenya and the Philippines (complementary to the study by GIZ).

The European Environment Agency published an overview of adaptation M&E efforts by its European member countries in December 2015. The report has been presented alongside the GIZ national adaptation M&E guidebook at the Adaptation Futures Conference in May 2016 in Rotterdam.

In 2013 the Adaptation Committee under the UNFCCC conducted a workshop on monitoring and evaluation of adaptation at national level. The workshop report and presentations can be found here.

The journal New Directions for Evaluation published a special issue in 2015 on adaptation M&E including an article on how to link national and subnational adaptation M&E Systems.