Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Adapting to climate variability and change: A guidance manual for development planning
August 2007
International Resources Group (IRG)

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges the DEC website as the source of this report:


Climate change may pose risks and/or create opportunities for development efforts in many countries. TheUSAID Global Climate Change Team developed this Adaptation Guidance Manual to assist Missions and otherpartners to understand how climate change may affect their project outcomes and identify adaptation options tointegrate into the design for more resilient projects. In developing the Manual we worked under the followingassumptions:

  • Climate variability already impacts economic sectors in developing countries and addressing climatevariability and change will be important for the long-term success of development assistance;

  • Project managers and stakeholders will know more about a project than we will (or than a tool cananticipate); project managers are already dealing with uncertainty such as weather and markets;

  • We can assist missions/project managers/project designers by providing methods and information (and weare developing a tool to provide access to appropriate climate information, past and future) to facilitateassessment of possible impacts and adaptation options for projects;

  • Stakeholder involvement is critical local knowledge and memory of climate changes over time can helpidentify adaptation options; building stakeholder ownership of project design and implementation is key toproject success.

  • The methods employed should be simple enough to meet needs in the field, but provide rigorous enoughinformation on which to base decisions.
This Adaptation Guidance Manual is the first of several tools we are developing to assist planners andstakeholders as they cope with a changing climate. As we work with Missions to apply the methods describedhere, we will revise the Manual to reflect Mission feedback and needs. We will also develop additional tools asneeded. We look forward to working with Missions and other development partners to build more robust andresilient development activities.

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