By Saleem Khan
As governments and other agencies spend more money on adaptation to climate change they want to know that their investments are effective.-that adaptation will keep development on track, that there is a fair distribution of costs and benefits, and that climate resilience is being built. But evaluating adaptation policy and practice is not easy. Some approaches are unhelpful because they fail to integrate adaptation and development, use purely quantitative methods and do not include the perspective of climate vulnerable groups in their assessments. Enabling countries and organisation to effectively evaluate adaptation requires an inclusive approach built on sharing knowledge among all stakeholders-that can capture behavioural and institutional changes and that answers to the needs of the climate vulnerable people, says Simon Anderson, Head of IIED’s Climate Change group.
On the other hand GEF explains that evaluations provide lessons learned from the first generation of adaptation interventions, from the development of National Adaptation Plans for Action to innovative approaches to specific adaptation problems. To explain in detail, the Marrakesh Accords adopted at COP7 in December, 2001, established three funding mechanisms for adaptation activities: the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). These funds are managed by the GEF and have generated more than $395 million in project financing for adaptation activities in developing countries worldwide during the past decade. If including data on alternate adaptation funds more than 250 projects are currently being financed amounting to about $965 million. However, the full cost of adaptation has been estimated by the World Bank and through previous COPs as amounting to $75-100 billion annually. While current funding falls short of reaching this goal, new funding mechanisms are emerging that may be able to assist with reaching these financing goals.
Lessons learned from recent evaluations of the LDCF, SCCF and SPA carried out by GEF evaluation office revealed that any further financing mechanisms may be able to draw on the experience and expertise that these funds have generated so far. Evaluating adaptation is still a new subject; however GEF exhibits the development of pioneering an AMAT (Adaptation Monitoring and Assessment Tool) as well as through frameworks and guidelines for evaluating adaptation.