Author: Tamara Coger Stefanie Tye Ariana Karamallis

Getting locally led adaptation right: Examples from around the world

Source(s): World Resources Institute


Local people and organizations who are most directly affected by — and often disproportionately vulnerable to — the impacts of climate change are often left out of critical decision-making processes to address them, such as the design of adaptation programs or plans. These processes tend to be top-down, with more powerful actors like funders, large intermediaries, international organizations or central governments driving all the key decisions. Smaller, local organizations and communities get boxed out, unable to access the funding and other resources they need to recover and build resiliency to floods, droughts, heat waves and myriad other impacts of climate change.


Of course, actually ensuring that adaptation is locally led is easier said than done. There is a range of barriers to decentralizing finance and power to the local level, each complex and challenging to overcome. Systemic social and political barriers create major power imbalances between local communities and national and international actors. Donors and governments are accustomed to directing funds to large organizations rather than smaller grassroots and local civil society organizations. Local groups may struggle operationally to access funding and navigate complex due diligence and other processes. The list goes on.


A recent WRI working paper lays out 21 case studies of locally led adaptation. These projects are locally led, yet still involve collaboration with international funders, national governments and others working in solidarity with at-risk communities. They can provide models of how funders and governments can support adaptation in line with the Principles for Locally Led Adaptation.


Explore further

Country and region Zimbabwe Americas Bangladesh
Share this

Please note: Content is displayed as last posted by a PreventionWeb community member or editor. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNDRR, PreventionWeb, or its sponsors. See our terms of use

Is this page useful?

Yes No
Report an issue on this page

Thank you. If you have 2 minutes, we would benefit from additional feedback (link opens in a new window).