Monitoring & Evaluation

Keeping track of climate
adaptation progress

Project-level adaptation M&E

Adaptation to climate change is increasingly becoming part of development projects. This raises two questions. First, how can adaptation-specific results be assessed and monitored. And second, what characterizes an adaptation project?

GIZ has developed a number of support tools to inform the design, results-based management and evaluation of adaptation projects:

A step-by-step guide to develop results-based monitoring systems for adaptation projects


This guidebook describes five steps (see illustration below) to design adaptation projects and their results-based monitoring systems. It offers practical advice on the questions “What characterizes an adaptation project?” and “How can adaptation results be measured?”. The five steps are illustrated through a case study from India. The guidebook is accompanied by an Excel Tool to operationalize the five steps (►MACC Tool).
The five steps of “Adaptation made to measure”

Target Group: Project developers and managers, implementing agencies and donors

Type of resource: Step-by-step guide


Adaptation Made to Measure. A guidebook to the design and results-based monitoring of climate change adaptation projects.  Second edition. (1.4 MB) This guidebook presents a five-step approach to designing adaptation projects and results-based monitoring systems. This new edition of the guidebook was fully updated in November 2013. It is accompanied by an excel tool and a repository of adaptation indicators.


Adaptación a medida. Manual para la concepción y el seguimiento basado. Segunda edición (1.8 MB) Spanish translation of Adaptation made to measure (Second edition).

GIZ 2014 – Adaptation Sure Measure – Deuxieme edition (1.8 MB) French translation of “Adaptation made to measure” (Second Edition)

An excel tool navigating project managers through the five steps of designing adaptation projects and their results-based monitoring systems


The excel tool “MACC” leads project managers through the five steps of the guidebook ►“Adaptation made to measure”. It can be used to directly enter monitoring data and keep an overview of the project’s progress. Based on a theory of change approach, the tool allows defining up to 15 intended results with up to three indictors each. Data can be directly entered into the excel file making it a very practical devise for project monitoring. The tool is easy to navigate and video tutorials explain each of the five steps. It is also helpful for planning adaptation projects.

Target Group: Project managers, staff of implementing agencies

Type of resource: Practical excel tool


MACC-Tool Monitoring Climate Adaptation Projects – GIZ 2016 (1.9 MB)
Excel-Tool to plan and monitor adaptation Projects based on the Guidebook “Adaptation made to measure”.

Handbook Of The Monitoring Tool For Climate Adaptation Projects MACC – GIZ 2016 (580.9 KB)
Handbook explaining the use of the MACC Tool.

Video Tutorials:

An approach to quantify adaptation benefits in terms of avoided economic damages, illnesses and mortality


Saved Health/Saved Wealth is an approach to quantify the benefits of adaptation measures in terms of avoided economic damages, illnesses and mortality. It can be used a priori based on scenarios to select the most promising adaptation options, or as an evaluation tool for ongoing or completed adaptation projects. Its methodology compares a baseline situation (economic assets and life expectancy) with economic and health losses that have been avoided through adaptation. The calculation requires data on possible health impacts (Disability-Adjusted Live Years: DALY) and/or economic impacts as well as assumptions about the counterfactual (what would have happened without adaptation). To limit complexity, the approach is typically applied to a single climate change impact such as flooding. A pilot application has been undertaken for a

coastal protection project in Viet Nam. The methodology is described in detail in the publication and illustrated by comparing two adaptation options in Viet Nam: (I) building a dyke and (II) planting mangroves. An excel tool is provided for the calculation of Saved Health and Saved Wealth.

A special feature of the Saved Health / Saved Wealth approach is that it can also be used to estimate adaptation benefits before a project starts based on scenarios of climate change impacts.

Target Group: Project developers and managers, implementing agencies and donors

Type of reference: Step-by-step guide


Saved health, saved wealth: an approach to quantifying the benefits of climate change adaptation (1.7 MB)
See also the two accompanying Excel Tools below which illustrate the calculation for a dyke and a mangrove case.

Dyke case:

Saved Health – Saved Wealth: Excel Tool for the Dyke Case (936.6 KB)
Excel tool accompanying the study “Quantifying adaptation benefits and comparing coastal protection adaptation projects in Viet Nam” focusing on the dyke example.

Mangrove case:

Saved Health – Saved Wealth: Excel Tool for the Mangroves Case (941.2 KB)
Excel tool accompanying the study “Quantifying adaptation benefits and comparing coastal protection adaptation projects in Viet Nam” focusing on the mangrove example.

A guide on selecting appropriate impact evaluation methods for climate change adaptation projects


This guidebook seeks to support project managers in providing an overview of different impact evaluation methods and how they can be applied to climate change adaptation projects. It provides practitioners with guidance to select the appropriate approach for a particular climate change adaptation project, based on its characteristics and the available resources. The application of the guidebook is further illustrated with a case study of an adaptation project in Bangladesh.

Target Group: Project Managers, staff of implementing and donor agencies

Type of resource: Decision-support-tool, mapping of approaches and methods



Impact Evaluation Guidebook for Climate Change Adaptation Projects (3.4 MB)
Thus guidebook provides an overview of methodologies for Impact Evaluations and how they can be applied to climate change adaptation Projects.

The following presents 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’s 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.