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CGE TRAINING MATERIALS- VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION (V&A) ASSESSMENT. Chapter 2 Vulnerability and Adaptation Frameworks. PART 1:. Introduction, Planning and Adaptation Frameworks. Objectives and Expectations.

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cge training materials vulnerability and adaptation v a assessment


Chapter 2

Vulnerability and Adaptation Frameworks

part 1


Introduction, Planning and Adaptation Frameworks

objectives and expectations
Objectives and Expectations
  • Having read this presentation in conjunction with the related handbook, the reader should:
    • Recognize the rationale for the need for vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) assessments
    • Be familiar with key terms, concepts and purposes of V&A assessments
    • Identify the various options that can be taken into consideration when undertaking a V&A assessment
    • Be able to use Planning and Adaptation Frameworks suited to respective national circumstances.


update of the training materials
Update of the Training Materials
  • The previous version (2005) is outdated and the updated version reflects the following:
    • Important findings from IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) (2007)
    • Significant update of methods, tools and data requirements for V&A assessment
    • Experience from Parties in undertaking national communications
  • The existing structure of the previous training material was maintained, to ensure continuity and consistency.
important sources of related information
Important Sources of Related Information
  • UNFCCC (2008) Resource guide for preparing the national communications of non-Annex I Parties (Modules 1-4) <>
  • UNFCCC (2008) Compendium of methods and tools to evaluation impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change”: <>
  • UNDP-NCSP(2006) National Communications Support Programme Resource Kit.
  • PROVIA Guidance on Assessing Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation to Climate Change, 2012 draft,
to a hammer everything looks like a nail
“To a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail”
  • Methods or models do not provide answers, but can help us gain insights
  • The first step is to consider the question(s) being asked.
some questions to begin a v a assessment
Some Questions to Begin a V&A Assessment
  • What is of concern?
    • Food production, water supply, health?
    • Concerns may not be expressed in climate terms, e.g. extreme temperatures, but in terms of consequences of climate change for people.
  • Who may be affected?
  • How far into the future is of concern?

Note: concerns may focus on current risks (which could be made worse by climate change).

some questions to begin a v a assessment1
Some Questions to Begin a V&A Assessment
  • For what purpose is the assessment to be used?
    • Raising awareness (education)?
    • Policy making (e.g. to inform a particular decision).
  • What kind of output is needed?
additional questions before starting the v a assessment
Additional Questions Before Starting the V&A Assessment
  • What resources are available to conduct the study?
    • Money
    • Staff
    • Expertise
    • Data
    • Regional linkages
    • Relationships with donors and development partners.
  • How much time is available?
key factors in determining how to conduct your study
Key Factors in Determining How to Conduct Your Study
  • You should not begin with the methods or models you have in hand, but with “the previous questions.
  • Select methods and models that best help you answer the questions.
different questions may lead to different approaches
Different Questions May Lead to Different Approaches
  • Questions about how climate change may affect resources may lead to analysis of long-term impacts (e.g. out to 2100).
  • Questions about adaptation may lead to analysis of vulnerability within a planning horizon (e.g. 5 to 50 years)
who is asking the question s may determine how the work is done
Who is Asking the Question(s) May Determine How the Work is Done
  • Some may be content with research that is conducted by the researchers
  • Others may wish for a hands-on approach:

e.g. Involve stakeholders in conducting the analysis and also shaping outputs by helping with sectoral and geographic prioritization.

bottom line
Bottom Line:
  • What information is needed?
  • When is the information needed?
  • Who needs the information?
impacts of climate change
Impacts of Climate Change
  • Impact is typically the effect of climate change:
    • For biological systems, it can be change in productivity, quality, population, or range
    • For societal systems, it can be a change in income, morbidity, mortality, or other measure of well-being.
  • Adaptation refers to initiatives and measures to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems, against actual or expected climate change effects.
  • Various types of adaptation exist, e.g. anticipatory and reactive, and autonomous and planned.
  • Examples include: raising river or coastal dikes, the substitution of more temperature-shock resistant plants for sensitive ones, etc. (IPCC, 2007)
  • This may not include “actual” (realized) or “expected” (future) changes in climate .
adaptation continued
Adaptation (continued)
  • Two types of adaptation:
    • Autonomous adaptation ( or reactive adaptation) tends to be what people and systems do as impacts of climate change become apparent
    • Anticipatory (or proactive or planned) adaptation are measures taken to reduce potential risks of future climate change.
adaptation learning cycle
Adaptation Learning Cycle

Four broad iterative tasks of an adaptation learning cycle:

empirically based methods
Empirically Based Methods

Empirically based methods refer to the gathering of observable data to formulate and test a hypothesis and come to a conclusion. These methods often require the commitment of substantial resources.

theory driven approach
Theory-driven Approach
  • A theory-driven approach, makes use of existing theoretical insights into the nature and causes of vulnerability to select variables for inclusion, although in practice this necessarily occurs within the limits placed by data availability.
  • This inevitably leads to subjectivity in the choice of indicators, but that can be addressed by ensuring all decisions are grounded in the existing literature and made fully transparent.
identifying tasks based on adaptation
Identifying Tasks Based on Adaptation

The looped circles indicate that once a task has been identified and a method applied, the process should be repeated, based on the new adaptation situation to identify the next task.

PROVIA (2012)

impact and capacity analysis
Impact and Capacity Analysis

Impact analysis

Resource constraints

Time constraints

Lack of data

Large uncertainties

Participatory setting

Private sector

National prioritizing

Analyse future impacts or current state?

Capacity analysis

  • The focus on impact analysis or capacity analysis, is often not determined by clear-cut criteria:
  • Impact analysis may be more appropriate to identify priorities for national or regional adaptation interventions or deeper analysis
  • Capacity analysis may be more appropriate to identifying and designing actions at local levels.

PROVIA (2012)

high order decision tree for capacity analysis
High-order Decision Tree for Capacity Analysis

Capacity of whom?


Organizational self- assessment


Quick high-level screening in order to prioritize further analysis

Purpose of the analysis?

Adaptive capacity indication

Identification of public adaptation options

Public capacity analysis

PROVIA (2012)

analysing impacts
Analysing Impacts
  • Analysing observed or expected impacts of climate change (with and without adaptation). Tasks and methods associated with this sub-task will be called impact-analytical approaches.
  • Analysingthe capacity to prevent, moderate or adapt to these impacts requires a diverse range of approaches including indicators, behaviour-analytical and institution-analytical approaches
decision tree choosing tasks relevant to analysing capacity
Decision-tree: Choosing Tasks Relevant to Analysing Capacity

Decision-tree for choosing tasks relevant to analysingcapacity from a public perspective in order to identify options

PROVIA (2012)


Entry Point: Public Adaptation Problem in Which the Analyst Must Consider the Critical Tasks for Influence the Adaptation of Other (Private) Actors

empirical methods
Empirical Methods

Empirically based methods refer to the gathering of observable data to formulate and test a hypothesis and come to a conclusion(s). These methods require often substantial resources to be committed.

methods for selecting an option from a set
Methods for Selecting an Option From a Set
  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
  • Cost-effective analysis (CEA)
  • Multi-criteria analysis (MCA).
  • The criteria for selecting between CBA, CEA and MCA are based on which outcome attributes are of interest to the decision maker.
  • If all attributes can be assigned one common attribute of money, then CBA is appropriate.
  • If only one of the attributes cannot be assigned as a money attribute, then CEAis appropriate.
  • When two or more attributes cannot be assigned a common monetary attribute (and also cannot be expressed in one common attribute) MCA is appropriate.
Selecting an Appropriate Decision-making Method Based on Characteristics of the Adaptation Situation
Selecting an Appropriate Decision-making Method Based on Characteristics of the Adaptation Situation (continued)
part 2


Vulnerability and Adaptation Frameworks

overview of frameworks
Overview of Frameworks
  • Description of some vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) frameworks
  • One size does not fit all
  • Select a framework or method that best suits:
    • The questions being asked
    • Who is asking them
    • What kind of answers are needed
    • What resources, time data and technical support are available
    • Have you used one before.
two types of frameworks
Two Types of Frameworks
  • Impacts:
    • Also known as “first generation” or “top down”
  • Adaptation:
    • Also known as “second generation” or “bottom up”.
impacts frameworks
Impacts Frameworks
  • These frameworks are driven by the need to understand long-term consequences:
    • Tend to look out many decades (to 2100 or beyond)
    • Tend to be scenario driven
adaptation frameworks
Adaptation Frameworks
  • These frameworks are driven by the following:
    • The need to supply useful information to stakeholders:
      • They tend to address near-term concerns
      • Often address climate variability and change
      • Emphasis is on the socio-economic context
  • Stakeholder identification of issues and involvement in process:
      • Bring in analysis as necessary and appropriate
      • Can use consultative/consensus-building techniques.
adaptation continuum
Adaptation Continuum

(Source: McGray et al., (2007) in Klein and Persson, 2008)

adaptation continuum1
Adaptation Continuum

(Source: McGray et al., 2007)

impacts frameworks1
Impacts Frameworks
  • IPCC Seven Steps (1994)
  • UNEP Handbook (1998)
  • U.S. Country Studies Program (1993 -1999)
ipcc seven steps
IPCC Seven Steps
  • Define the problem
  • Select the method
  • Test the method
  • Select scenarios
  • Assess biophysical and socio-economic impacts
  • Assess autonomous adjustments
  • Evaluate adaptation strategies.
u s country studies program
U.S. Country Studies Program
  • Provided detailed guidance on specific methods:
    • Coastal resources
    • Agriculture
    • Livestock
    • Water resources
    • Vegetation
    • Human health
    • Wildlife
    • Fisheries
    • Adaptation
  • Publications.
united nations environment programme unep handbook
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Handbook
  • Presents overviews of methods:
    • It is a source for information on different methods
    • Does not provide detailed guidance.
  • Topics include:
    • Climate change scenarios
    • Socio-economic scenarios.
unep handbook continued
UNEP Handbook (continued)
  • Integration
  • Adaptation
  • Water resources
  • Coastal zones
  • Agriculture
  • Rangeland and livestock
  • Human health
  • Energy
  • Forests
  • Biodiversity
  • Fisheries
second generation adaptation frameworks
Second Generation Adaptation Frameworks
  • United nations Development Programme (UNDP):
    • Adaptation Policy Framework (2005)
    • Toolkit for Designing Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives (2010)
  • National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) Guidance
  • USAID Adapting to Climate Variability and Change (2007)
  • Community Vulnerability Frameworks.
undp adaptation policy framework continued
UNDP Adaptation Policy Framework (continued)
  • Contains technical papers on the following:
    • Scoping and designing an adaptation project
    • Engaging stakeholders in the adaptation process
    • Assessing vulnerability for climate adaptation
    • Assessing current climate risks
    • Assessing future climate risks
    • Assessing current and changing socio-economic conditions
    • Assessing and enhancing adaptive capacity
    • Formulating an adaptation strategy
    • Continuing the adaptation process.
napa guidance
NAPA Guidance
  • National Adaptation Programmes of Action
  • Least developed countries (LDCs) identify and rank proposed measures to adapt to climate change
  • Decision 28/CP.7
napa guidance continued
NAPA Guidance (continued)
  • The guidance document provides the framework for developing NAPAs
  • It discusses the following:
    • Objectives and characteristics of NAPA’s guiding elements
    • Process
    • Structure.
napa guidance continued1
NAPA Guidance (continued)
  • Outcome of COP17 Durban
  • This guidance document, is not designed to replace NAPAs
  • It is designed to allow all developing countries (not just LDCs as per NAPAs) to plan and implement medium-to long-term adaptation initiatives
  • Support for the NAP process will be provided through a Global Support Programme (GSP) for implementation in the second half of 2012.
differences between the napa and nap process
Differences Between the NAPA and NAP process

(Source: Draft NAP Global Support Programme (GSP), submission to the GEF 2012)

risk based frameworks
Risk-Based Frameworks
  • Risk is defined as:

The chance of something happening that will have an impact on objectives

  • So risk is positive and negative
  • And….must be a risk to something (a management objective).
risk based frameworks1
Risk-Based Frameworks

(Source: AdaptiveFutures, 2011)

risk based frameworks2
Risk-Based Frameworks

(Source: Australian Government, 2006)

selecting a framework
Selecting a Framework
  • We are not recommending use of a particular framework:
    • Different frameworks are appropriate for different needs
  • What is needed in the long run is the integration of climate change predictions and adaptation with a baseline of vulnerability.
selecting a framework guiding questions
Selecting a Framework: Guiding Questions
  • What is of concern – food production, water supply, health, ecosystem loss?
    • (Concerns may be expressed not in climate terms (e.g. extreme temperature) but in consequences of climate impacts for people (e.g. drought, flood, malnutrition)
  • Are there places (areas) that may be particularly vulnerable that may need specific risk assessments?
  • Who may be affected – where are they and what groups in society?
  • How far into the future is the concern?
  • For what purpose is the assessment to be used – raising awareness (education), policymaking?
  • What kind of output is needed?
application of frameworks
Application of Frameworks
  • Projects often take longer and cost more than originally thought (or proposed)
  • Be careful about complex frameworks
  • You may only get through the first few steps before running out of time or funds
  • Think about how a sectoral project will be run to promote consistency
  • Think about integrating sectoral assessments at the end.
key factors in determining how to conduct your study1
Key Factors in Determining How to Conduct Your Study
  • You should not begin with the methods or models you have in hand, but with the important questions
  • Select methods and models that best help you answer the questions.