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Compendium of Lessons Learned from ARCC Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments

Date Published: 
April 14, 2015

Before considering how to adapt to climate change, it is first necessary to understand the extent to which natural and human systems will be affected by various change scenarios. That is the purpose of a climate change vulnerability assessment (CCVA). These assessments treat climate change as a driving agent of change while acknowledging that other forces may also be at work, and they provide specific information on exposure and sensitivity as well as on the adaptive capacity of populations and the systems on which they rely.

For three years, starting in 2011, the USAID African and Latin American Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) program gave specialists an opportunity to explore and discover how best to conduct CCVAs. In many countries, these were the first such assessments to have ever been conducted. ARCC’s work brought improved science, methods, tools and shared learning on adaptation to the programming of USAID and its partners. This Compendium draws on experience gained through preparing assessments in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Malawi, Senegal and Uganda. The lessons compiled in this report constitute a reference tool that can be used by assessment designers to define the scope of a CCVA and by key decision makers to introduce climate change adaptation into new or existing policies and programs.