Module 8 | Design: Adaptation Action
Module 8

Design: Adaptation Action

Introduction: Designing your adaptation action

This module demonstrates how to develop climate adaptation actions and implement these in your communities and at the local level. This module will also equip you with relevant skills and tools to evaluate your adaptation actions. It provides guidance on how to scale up your adaptation action, identify adaptation funding opportunities and engage with potential investors.

What will I learn in this module?

By the end of the module, you will:

  • Have learned how to map climate risks, vulnerabilities and capacity gaps in communities and identify potential actions to address these.
  • Understand how to develop a Community Adaptation Action Plan.
  • Know about the key elements for creating a Monitoring, Evaluating and Learning (MEL) framework for your adaptation actions.
    Understand what you need to consider when scaling up your adaptation actions.
  • Know more about adaptation funding opportunities and the basics of how to approach investors for financing.

The below infographic provides a summary of the key content in this module:

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Youth-led climate adaptation actions

As a young person, you can take the lead on climate adaptation action in your community. As you’ll remember from Module 2, adaptation actions support households, communities, and countries to respond to the effects of climate change.

Adaptation actions can take various forms. Many at the community level involve civil society groups that work to strengthen the ability of vulnerable people to adapt to climate change. As you learned in Module 4, these actions can also be entrepreneurial. Young innovators from around the continent have started businesses that provide adaptation solutions – such as clearing waste from waterways to reduce flooding risks or providing climate-smart irrigation to farmers.

Soupah Kitchen & Grocery Technology Company is an innovative women-led agro-producer and distributor based in Ibadan, Nigeria, that aims to change the way food is grown and distributed in the climate-vulnerable country. The Toolkit for Youth on Leadership & Adaptation – Module 8 8 Company grows vegetables in a resource-smart way using hydroponics. Source: GCA

Young people we surveyed when developing this Toolkit, highlighted several ways to engage in climate adaptation action.

Building capacity for local planning that integrates climate.

This can involve using climate risk and/or vulnerability analysis processes to inform local planning, and implementing community-based adaptation actions that empower young people, women and girls.

Accessing climate information services.

This means making use of weather forecasts and climate information to prepare for potential weather or climate events, sharing early warnings, and preparing communities for extreme weather.

Changing behaviors and norms towards climate change adaptation.

To do this, young people can educate others about practices like planting trees, reusing and recycling waste, collecting and storing water for irrigation, and not cutting down trees and forests.

Promoting accessible and resilient infrastructure.

Young people can help with building flood protection walls, drainage systems, shelters, homes and resilient community structures.

Mobilizing resources for local actions.

This may involve working to unlock government resources for local adaptation actions, or setting up a community savings system as a financial buffer for recovering after a climate shock or stress.

Promoting climate-smart technology.

This is technology that supports the efficient use of energy for lighting, irrigation, transportation and other systems.

Promoting climate-smart agriculture.

This involves diversifying crops and promoting stress-tolerant crops and livestock that can withstand stresses, such as droughts.

Promoting climate adaptation entrepreneurship.

This involves creating entrepreneurial ventures that address adaptation needs in your community.

Designing your plan for local adaptation action

First do your homework

To be successful in your mission, it is important to plan your approach, be informed and build relationships for collaboration. Questions to ask yourself at the start include:

  • What climate adaptation actions are already happening in your community?
  • Who else might be working on similar issues?
  • Can you find allies and/or opportunities to partner with others?

Knowing what is already happening and who is involved will prevent you from wasting time trying to reinvent the wheel. It will also open your eyes to partnership opportunities that could help make your action a success.

What is an effective adaptation partnership?
Relationships based on mutual trust, equality and learning, with an agreed vision, and clear accountability for all parties. Such partnerships engage the complementary strengths of those involved. Partners collaborate on specific objectives, challenges and opportunities in ways that achieve greater impact than they could achieve alone.

Follow this step-by-step process for planning your adaptation action

To develop your climate adaptation actions, you can use the Community Adaptation Action Planning (CAAP) process as a model. It brings local stakeholders together in an empowering learning process. The aim is to create tangible but flexible plans for communities to build their adaptive capacity and reduce their vulnerability to climate change over time. It can be used at the community level or more broadly.

Tip: Communities could already have development or disaster risk reduction plans in place. Adaptation should be integrated into these, instead of developing a separate adaptation plan.

How the CAAP process works

  • It involves four steps that aim to empower communities and build their ownership of adaptation plans and actions. (Steps 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Figure 1).
  • Steps 1, 6 and 7 aim to establish the existing processes and the linkages between communities and other governance levels (e.g., local adaptation plans and broader policies)
  • Steps 1 to 4 can be done over a few months, depending on circumstances. The full process is an ongoing cycle of activities that should become self-sustaining.

For the purpose of this module, we’ll look at Steps 1-5 in detail.

Tip: For full details of the various stages and tools used during the CAAP, see CARE’s Adaptation Planning with Communities Report.

CARE’s Community Adaptation Action Planning process. Source: CARE, 2016.

Step 1: Launching the Community Adaptation Action Planning process

Firstly, identify the purpose, process and stakeholders you’ll engage to start planning your adaptation actions.
Establish your team and devise a plan for what you need to do. Conduct initial background research, do a stakeholder analysis (as detailed in this guide from CARE), and make sure your team has been trained in necessary skills, such as facilitation (covered in Module 5).

Step 2: Context analysis and stakeholder mobilization

Second, understand the overall context and mobilize people to support and/or participate in the adaptation action planning process.
Here, you might also do background research, institutional mapping (which involves identifying the ways different institutions, and power relations, interact with and affect adaptation), and analysis of existing programs.
You can mobilize key stakeholders through interviews and meetings with communities and institutions that engage in adaptation and related issues.

Tools for step 2

Develop a workplan
By the end of step 2, you will be ready to develop a workplan for rolling out your CAAP process. Table 1 is an example of a workplan format for CAAP facilitators. You can adjust it to suit your needs.

Table 1: Workplan sample for CAAP facilitators.

Step 3: Participatory analysis of climate change vulnerability, risks and adaptive capacity

This step focuses on understanding the need for your local adaptation action. It allows you to build a common understanding of climate change risks, vulnerability and the adaptive capacity of institutions and groups within the community.

Here, you can do gender and diversity analysis to ensure your action meets the needs of the most vulnerable (covered in Module 3).

Tip: Community participation is key for developing impactful adaptation actions and plans. Step 3 is where you can start using participatory tools to help empower communities and give them ownership of adaptation plans and actions.

Key Climate Terms

In this step, you will need to be familiar with key climate change terms.


The probability of harmful consequences, or expected losses (deaths, injuries, property, livelihoods, economic activity disrupted or environment damaged) resulting from interactions between natural or human-induced hazards and vulnerable or capable conditions.


A potentially damaging physical event, phenomenon and/or human activity, which may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.


Short-term events or disruptions that have negative effects on people’s well- being, assets, livelihoods, safety, or their ability to withstand future shocks. Examples include sudden extreme weather events or disruptions, such as flash floods, cyclones and heatwaves.


Continuous, long-term trends or pressures that negatively impact people’s lives and the systems they live in. Examples include prolonged droughts, erratic weather patterns, rising sea levels, increased desertification and natural resource degradation

Find more terms in module 1, 2 and 3.

Tools to use in Step 3

Participatory tools are designed to encourage joint analysis, learning and action. Below, we highlight how CARE’s Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA) can be used to analyze community-level vulnerabilities to climate change, and capacities to adapt. (To refresh yourself on the CVCA, refer to Module 3).

Mapping climate vulnerabilities

The CVCA helps you map climate vulnerabilities and capacities in a community, paying particular attention to gender, ecosystem and governance issues. It allows you to prioritize adaptation actions based on the needs of those most vulnerable to climate change.

To map vulnerabilities, you can:

  • Interview key people and run workshops and dialogues with community stakeholders.
  • Do research into climate change vulnerability at broader levels.

The analysis allows you to identify specific actions for increasing climate resilience, which can be tailored for different groups. The CVCA combines scientific and indigenous knowledge and ensures that all voices are heard.

Mapping climate risks and impacts

As part of the CVCA process, it is important to identify the main climate shocks and stresses that pose a risk to your community and country.

Use a table to list shocks and stresses

You can start by drawing a simple table (like Table 2) that lists possible shocks and stresses. Place a tick next to all the shocks and stresses your community faces.

Table 2: Sample for identifying shocks and stresses in your community and country.

Tip: Be sure to research a full range of shocks and stresses so you don’t miss any of the important ones!

Do the hazard map exercise with your community

A hazard map allows you to become familiar with the community and how it is perceived by different groups. During the exercise, community members identify important livelihood resources along with hazards affecting the community (climate-related and other). (For more information see the Field Guide section of the CVCA 2.0 Handbook).

Community members map their village as part of a CVCA process in Phongsaly Province in Northern Laos. Credit: Benjamin Pomerleau/CARE.

Use the impact chains tool

You can use this tool (shown in Figure 2) to identify direct and indirect impacts of climate- related shocks and stresses on people’s livelihoods. It provides a basis for discussing how people are responding to these shocks and stresses.

Figure 2: Impact Chains tool. Source: CARE, 2019.

Use the adaptations pathway tool

After looking at impact chains, you can use the adaptations pathway tool to get community input on what changes they could make to reduce the negative effects of the identified shocks and stresses (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Adaptation pathways based on identified impacts. Source: CARE, 2019.

Once you have identified the potential adaptation pathways, you then discuss which are most urgent and which can be done by individuals or require collective action. These can be used to generate solutions, which can feed into your adaptation action plan (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Adaptation pathways with potential solutions. Source: CARE, 2019.

Step 4: Development of a community adaptation action plan

Now that you have mapped and identified key climate change risks and vulnerabilities, it’s time to co-develop a Community Adaptation Action Plan.
The plan will determine your strategy for addressing the climate change risks, vulnerabilities and adaptation pathways you identified in Step 3 and identify actions to take. It can also be used to support requests for funding.

Tools to use in step 4

Community visioning for a future with climate change

CARE’s “Community Visioning” approach brings together different people in the community to think about an ideal future in five, 10 or 20 years, in the context of climate change. It reveals how people’s expectations of the future within one community can be different. It helps a group reach a consensus about a common or shared vision.

How it works

  • You start by reminding participants of past, present and expected future situations based on scientific climate information and the information from previous participatory exercises.
  • Then, you ask participants to relax, close their eyes and clear their minds, and ask them to picture the future. You ask them a few questions, such as: What do you want to see in your community in 20 years? And what will the village look like?
  • You then ask them to open their eyes and draw their vision individually.
  • Finally, you compare different participants’ visions and try to reach a consensus.

Practical information

  • This activity should take roughly 2 hours: 1 hour to imagine and draw the visions and 1 hour to discuss and develop a shared vision.
  • It should ideally be done with a representative group of people since the vision will drive the whole adaptation planning process. Aim to be as inclusive as possible.

Tip: In certain instances, young people and women and girls may not feel comfortable voicing their concerns in the same forum as men. To ensure everyone participates, the visioning exercise can first be done in separate groups for men and women. The vision of each can be discussed afterward in plenary to come up with a shared vision that reflects the hopes and dreams of all participants.

Adaptation options comparison table

The adaptation options comparison table helps you and your community finalize adaptation options, compare them using a list of criteria, and prioritize which ones to address (see Table 3 for an example).

How it works

  • You start by reminding participants of the vision they agreed on and the list of adaptation options they already proposed during previous participatory exercises.
  • Then, you discuss if those actions will enable you to reach the vision and discuss any missing options.
  • You will need to collectively decide on the criteria for comparing the different options proposed.
  • Once each option has been assessed, you facilitate a discussion to see if the scoring reflects participants’ views and if anything needs to be adjusted.

Practical information

  • This activity should take approximately 2 hours: 1 hour to come up with the different adaptation options based on the vision and 1 hour to do the prioritization and have further discussion.
  • Before this exercise begins, the facilitators should identify a list of potential adaptation options per sector.
  • Keep in mind that the community is in the driving seat. They should first identify what they feel are the most relevant and appropriate adaptation options for specific climate vulnerabilities. The facilitators can suggest other options based on available information.

Tip: One of the key criteria can be the positive contribution to gender equality. If this is the case, it is important to define what this means and eventually use a specific gender matrix to analyze the differentiated effects of the adaptation options on things like workload, relations, power dynamics, arising gender-based violence, and see who will benefit more as a result of the activity.

Table 3: Example of an adaptation option comparison table.

Community Adaptation Action Plan (CAAP)

The CAAP merges all results from previous tools into a detailed action plan showing clear community-driven adaptation actions in response to identified climate change impacts and vulnerabilities. The plan provides a way forward, showing who the adaptation action(s) will target, who will implement the actions, when these will be implemented, and what resources are needed (see Table 4 for an example).

How it works

  • You work with participants to fill in the adaptation plan. The facilitators need to fill it in in advance with the priority adaptation options agreed on during previous sessions and the information already gathered on those options.
  • You present the plan at the start of the session to explain how everything links together. Then, the facilitators discuss each adaptation option to fill the additional columns for target group, who will implement, when, resources and success indicators.

Practical information

  • This activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. An hour to develop the plan, 30 minutes for discussion.
  • This activity requires preliminary work to pre-fill the plan format and save time for discussion with participants.
  • The format can vary according to the context. Table 4 is a template for developing the CAAP.
Table 4: Template for Community Adaptation Action Plan.

Step 5: Implementation of community adaptation action plan

This step is about implementing planned adaptation actions to strengthen adaptive capacity and reduce the vulnerability of different groups to climate risks.

Within this step, there are numerous things you will need to do. These are broken down into three main activities.

  • Assessing and improving your actions.
  • Prioritizing which actions you will pursue.
  • Deciding how to monitor and evaluate your adaptation actions.

Let’s look at each in more detail.

Assess your actions with the Adaptation Good Practice Checklist

Whatever actions you plan to undertake, it is important to assess them against the Adaptation Good Practice (AGP) Checklist. This will ensure that adaptation results in quality, impactful and long-term climate resilience for the most vulnerable people.

Assess your implementation plan against the checklist’s nine criteria (Figure 5) and make any necessary changes.

Figure 5: The Adaptation Good Practice Checklist. Source: CARE, 2016.
A MEL framework will help you track progress and evaluate whether your adaptation actions are making the intended impact. Credit: Antony Trivet/Pexels.

Prioritize which adaptation actions to implement

Once you have assessed your adaptation actions with the AGP checklist, and made any refinements, it’s time to prioritize the actions you will implement.

Consider what is feasible. Ask yourself:

  • Are the actions technically feasible? Do you have the necessary technological resources to implement them?
  • Are the actions financially feasible? Do you have the necessary financial resources? If not, how might you secure funding?
  • Do you, or your team, have the capacity to implement the actions?
  • How will the actions impact the community?

Decide how to monitor and evaluate your adaptation actions

When your adaptation actions are up and running, you will need to keep track of their progress and evaluate whether they are making the intended impact. That’s where Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) comes in.

You should design a MEL framework before implementing your adaptation actions. This means you can learn from and update your actions as you progress. A MEL framework can inspire you as you track your achievements.

Additionally, a MEL framework will help you demonstrate impact when you are communicating about your work to others, which is important when trying to convince donors and partners to support and collaborate.

The three elements of MEL each have distinct purposes and processes.

  • Monitoring: continual and systematic collection of data to provide information about your adaptation action(s).
  • Evaluation: user-focused, systematic assessment of the design, implementation, and results of an ongoing or completed action.
  • Learning: having processes and a culture in place that enables you and your team to reflect on the work and make informed decisions based on experience.

The MEL system is only effective when these three pieces are aligned.

MEL terminology – what you need to know

Impact (long-term)

Sustainable, significant and measurable changes in resilience and adaptive capacity for a particular population. Changes at the impact level are influenced by those factors directly addressed by an action, as well as other factors.

Outcomes (immediate and intermediate)

Changes in individual behaviors (e.g., individuals putting into practice new knowledge, attitudes or commitments) and changes that are structural or systemic (e.g., policy changes) that can be seen in different populations. Outcomes are often a result of what participants do on their own, influenced by the adaptation action, or other factors.


The products an adaptation action generates through implementation of its activities. Outputs could include the results of a training, such as the number of farmers trained on climate-smart agricultural techniques.


These are targeted at individuals, families, community organizations, the private sector and public sector, and civil society organizations. Activities are what the organization or individual implementing an action does rather than what the beneficiaries (or participants) will do


The set of resources needed by an adaptation action to deliver its commitments. These include the human and financial resources, physical facilities, equipment, materials, logistics, in-kind contributions and operational policies that enable services to be delivered.


A signal that shows whether or not progress is being made. When designing an indicator, ask: What does the result (change) mean? How do I know that the result (change) has happened?


The conscious and unconscious beliefs we each have about how the world works. When identifying the logic of an adaptation action, you should also identify the assumptions being made about its rationale, the context and people involved, and the conditions needed to implement it.

Results chain

The logical sequences of interim changes that need to occur to reach the intended impact. These interim changes include changes in the focus population but also other actors who are instrumental in bringing about change.

How to design a basic MEL framework

First, establish a results chain with SMART indicators.

This shows how a particular action will lead to a desired result. Table 5 provides an example results chain for your inspiration.

Remember, the results chain should be accompanied by SMART indicators for your adaptation action(s) so you can measure success. As you learned in Module 7, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

The model should address key questions, including:

  • What is your desired impact?
  • How do you believe change will take place? (this links to your Theory of Change, explained in Module 7).
  • What assumptions need to hold true for the change to occur?
  • How will you measure and track progress?
Table 5: The results chain.

Tip: To learn more about the basics of MEL and how to design and implement a MEL system, check out CARE’s Getting started with MEL for Climate Adaptation.

Then, develop a plan for how you will collect and analyze the necessary data and information.

Consider how you will collect and analyze the data and information you need to evaluate your adaptation action(s).

In our example above, you would consider how to collect data on the various indicators.

  • For the Outputs indicator 1, you would look at how to track the number of young people trained on climate adaptation.
  • For the Impact indicator 3, you would look at how to measure the percentage of farmers who have improved yields, and analyse it, to see if you are meeting your intended impact.

You would also need to decide on what types of tools (e.g., software) and processes you will use to crunch the numbers.

Tip: To identify the right milestones and indicators for your adaptation action, use CARE’s Framework of Milestones and Indicators for Community-Based Adaptation.

Once you have analyzed your data and drawn conclusions, decide how to communicate your results

Decide who you will share your MEL results with. Your audience will likely be community members who took part in your adaptation action, partners, donors and local government. Here, it is important to know your audience and understand their needs. Make sure you communicate your results in a way your audience can interpret and that makes an impression.

You will also use the results of your MEL analysis to learn as a team. Ask yourself:

  • What worked well?
  • What could be improved? And how can we use what we have learned to improve the adaptation action?

Scaling up your adaptation actions

After implementing your adaptation action in its initial stage, and evaluating the outcomes, you might be pleased to see that it has been successful and has potential for scaling up. At this stage, it’s important to consider how the intervention supports effective adaptation.

Check to see that your action supports effective climate change adaptation

Technical feasibility

Can the intervention withstand variations in climate? Can it be easily used by your target community without the need for help from specialists?

Financial viability

Is the intervention cost-effective and can it be sustained financially over the short, medium and long term?

Social acceptability

Does the intervention disrupt social cohesion or create division among members of a community? If so, how might you build bridges between people and bring people with different opinions together to create a shared understanding of the benefits of the action?

Gender dimensions

Does the adaptation action support the agency and wellbeing of women and girls?

Use the Business Model Canvas to define your value proposition

When thinking about scaling up your adaptation action, you need to have a clear understanding of the value it brings, the costs involved, and how these will be paid for. Here, it pays to think about your adaptation action in business terms.

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) helps you easily define and communicate your adaptation action concept visually. It helps you define a problem and the proposed solutions and implementation processes. It can be used to determine whether an adaptation action should be scaled up or not.

Below is an example from CARE Bangladesh. It shows how the BMC was applied to the problem of low-income communities not having access to safe and reliable water. Source: CARE Bangladesh.


Low Income Communities (LIC) in urban Bangladesh do not have access to safe, reliable and adequate water for domestic consumption.

Municipal authorities do not supply water in the slums as they are out of formal holding tax process. LICs have no choice but to rely on local traders for water at a higher price. To meet domestic needs, women spend 3-4 hours a day in the queue to fetch water and often they face harassment. Limited access to safe water results into various water borne diseases. Lack of water sources in those highly compacted areas, vincreases the risk of fire incidents.


The approximate cost for the establishment of water supply system is USD 5318.75 on an average, if it is solely carried over by CARE project along with community co-financing up to 23-36% (approx. USD 2,133.05) for pipeline networking, electricity connection and others.

But if we go in a private sector partnership approach, then the upfront cost could be minimized in a large scale as there will be installment/ community entrepreneurship. Each system covers 100-150 households.


‘The Water Collective’ is a community managed women friendly solution co-created by CARE in co-financing mechanism to solve out water scarcity of the slums.
The system, where communities have full control, ensured access to safe water 24/7 at a cheater price at their doorsteps.
A group of selective community members voluntarily collects
the fees from households to manage operational costs and maintenance. Remaining balance is being deposited in bank. The water collective has a formal links with the municipal authority for sustainability.

Key Metrics

  1. Water cost has been reduced (nearly halved).
  2. According to community, fire incidents are now lower than before.
  3. Water borne diseases get visibly lower.
  4. Incidents of Gender Based Violence has been reduced.

Revenue Streams

  • Monthly collection fee
  • There is a bank account for
    the Water Collective where the monthly fees from customers get deposited. A small amount of Interest also came from bank savings.

Value Proposition


  • LIC members getting available safe water at doorsteps in a half price than before.
  • Finding no way local traders in the neighbouring slums reduce the costs.
  • Due to collective ownership it is accessible to all. Most importantly by being involved in the system they get rid of the dependency on private water traders.


  • Actors (municipal authorities and NGOs producers) want to address water crisis and build resilience would find it as a feasible solution which could be scale up easily in collaboration with Private Sector.
  • Private sector manufacturer/input sellers who wants to increase their market would find the system as an opportunity to sell out water pumps and accessories in instalments which would help minimize upfront costs.


To reach users:

The Key benefit (low cost & availability) attracts the customers from adjacent communities. Additionally, meeting, social gathering, community marketing, group formation is helping to reach users.

To reach Scalers:

National events, advocacy, meeting with private sector, local elected bodies and City Corporations; social networking, blogs, publicity materials etc.

Comparative Advantage

  • LIC members especially women and girls can access to safe running water at doorsteps. It reduces risk of gender based violence and increases women’s productive time.
  • It helps women and adolescent girls to maintain their menstrual hygiene.
  • It reduces the risk of water borne diseases.
  • It increases the community resilience against fire. The system has fire hydrant inbuilt with hose-pipe to extinguish fire at the very beginning.

“Customer” Segments


  • Urban Low income community specially women.
  • Slum dwellers with high dependency on local water traders or surplus water of nearby factories/industries.


  • NGOs/Community entrepreneurs
  • Public & private sector • City Corporation

Non-financial Resources

  • Land
  • Oriented and skilled staffs
  • Community mobilization
  • Water management committee
  • Voluntary labor from community
  • The model itself

How to access funding to support your adaptation actions

As you learned in Module 6, there is funding available for adaptation actions (although this is still not enough to meet the need).

As a young person with innovative ideas for adaptation actions that need financial support there are various options available:

Apply for grants for young people with innovative adaptation solutions

There are various small grants and competitions available for climate change initiatives led by young people. Some of these are focused on Africa, or the Global South. A few are listed below.

  • The African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge (YouthADAPT Challenge) is an annual competition and awards program for youth-led enterprises (50% women-led). The challenge supports entrepreneurship and youth-led innovation in climate change adaptation and resilience across Africa. Winners receive USD 100,000 in grant funding and join an accelerator program.
  • The Global Youth Climate Action Fund provides micro-grants for projects on sustainable agriculture, clean energy, technological innovation and more.
  • The Youth Climate Fund from the Open Collective provides small grants for activities that foster impactful climate actions, activities and events, and can be implemented within 3 months.
  • The Hey Global Climate Fund assists young climate activists with projects that focus on climate change and health, climate change and gender, climate advocacy and climate entrepreneurship. In 2022, the fund provided three young people with USD 5000 each.

Apply for funding from the Green Climate Fund or Adaptation Fund

You cannot access these funds directly. You will need to be part of a youth organization that can be part of a Green Climate Fund (GCF) or Adaptation Fund (AF) proposal development process led by “accredited entities.” These can be private or public, non-governmental, sub- national, national, regional or international, as long as they meet the GCF’s standards. If you put forward good ideas and make active contributions, the accredited entity might identify you as a credible implementing partner if the proposal is awarded. This would give you an excellent opportunity to implement your suggested activity as a key implementing partner and be provided with the necessary funds to do so.

Tip: To know where in your country proposals are being developed and which accredited entities to approach, you can contact the national focal points for the GCF or AF.
It is good to build a relationship with them so you know exactly what is going on and when. To find out who your focal point is, ask your Ministry of Environment.

Apply for government funds

Governments are an important source of climate finance. Many climate-vulnerable countries have started including resources for climate action in their annual development programs. Do some research into what options are available in your country and what processes you need to go through to apply for funding.

Seek investor funding for your climate change adaptation solution

As you learned in Module 4, young people are turning their innovative adaptation ideas into businesses. If you have developed an adaptation action with business potential, then you can try to secure investor funding.

What investors are looking for

If you have developed a trailblazing adaptation action, you may be so excited that all you can focus on is the smart solution that you’re offering to a climate change problem. But investors will need to know more before they’re willing to invest. They will want to know:

  • What is the market size for your product? This shows if you can guarantee a return on their investment.
  • How much traction do you have? And what metrics is this based on? This shows if your product is selling and demonstrates the demand for it.
  • How is your business governed? This shows how your business is managed and run.
  • What is the impact and how do you measure this? This indicates if your business aligns with “triple bottom-line success,” which means it benefits people and planet while making profit.
  • What is your financial model? This helps investors see what returns your business can generate.
  • What is your competitive advantage? This shows what gives you the edge over your competitors.
Photo credit: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels.

Dos and don’ts of engaging with investors


  • Prepare, practice, update pitches and presentations.
  • Meet your projections.
  • Be concise in your communications, but have backup detail ready. Consider and adapt content to your audience.
  • Network before you start actively seeking capital.
  • Treat “no” as a feedback and networking opportunity.
  • Be confident and coachable.
  • Be upfront about risks, weaknesses—and how to address them. Research and target the most appropriate investors.
  • Personalize all investor communication.


  • Lie, be misleading or evasive.
  • Be overly confident or reject feedback.
  • Rely on the product or service alone to entice investors. Make up answers.
  • Expect fundraising to be easy or quick.
  • Be discouraged by rejection (but do learn from it!). Send mass emails soliciting investment.
  • Send your pitch to

Top tip: No matter what source of funding you are trying to secure, you will need to draw up a budget that shows how much money you will need. Take a look at this guide from ASANA.

Heat Wave

Heat Wave

Deepen your understanding. Find links to supporting scientific research, important publications, and tools

Youth-led climate adaptation actions

READ Adapt for Our Future: A Background Paper on Youth and Climate Change Adaptation to understand more about the main drawbacks for effective youth engagement in climate adaptation globally. The paper shows that most National Adaptation Plans and Disaster Risk strategies only recognize young people as beneficiaries, hence making their engagement
in national efforts passive rather than active. The paper proposes a transformation within current institutional structures so that youth-led actions are supported and included in national climate change adaptation strategies.

READ this case study (page 8 of linked document) about young people taking action in Ghana. Young people have been involved with Ghana’s Community Resilience Early Warning (CREW) project, doing risk assessments and updating of risk maps for effective early warning systems. Young people in hazard-prone communities share weather information from the Ghana Meteorological Organization with the broader community during the rainy season. In situations where floods are inevitable, they organize to establish short- term coping mechanisms, such as building makeshift levees with sandbags and clearing drainage systems.

Designing community adaptation actions

WATCH this video to learn more about CARE’s Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA) tool and how you can use it to map vulnerabilities in your community.

READ CARE’s CVCA Handbook for the full details on how to conduct participatory activities when designing your Community Adaptation Action Plan.

LEARN how to use the CVCA with these short online courses: CVCA #1 – The Basics of Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis and CVCA #2: The CVCA Step-by-Step.

LEARN how to identify the right milestones and design appropriate indicators for your adaptation actions with this guide, Framework of Milestones and Indicators for Community- Based Adaptation, from CARE.

LEARN how to design a full participatory MEL system for your adaptation action with CARE’s Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation, Reflection and Learning Manual.

READ the CARE Planning for Resilience manual for step-by-step guidance on how to do participatory, gender responsive local adaptation planning. It has tools and resources that will help when doing the planning process.

READ CARE’s Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) Framework to understand a range of strategies that need to be in place for effective Community-Based Adaptation to occur.

EXPLORE Ashoka’s 4 Levels of Impact model, designed for social entrepreneurs to help define the intended impact of an initiative. Changemaking can occur at multiple “levels” that require different tactics and strategies. For example, if you are focusing on plastic pollution, specifically bottles from drinks, you have many options for where to focus your efforts. The Ashoka model provides structure when planning for what ‘level’ your intended initiative will operate. This helps you identify your change making level and identify the stakeholders you need to collaborate with to achieve your intended impact.

Implementing your local adaptation actions

LEARN how to design a full participatory MEL system for your adaptation action with CARE’s Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation, Reflection and Learning Manual.

READ this checklist on gender-inclusive actionable agro-advisories to learn about integration of gender in Climate-Information Services work. The checklist aims to assist producers and translators in developing agro-advisories (forecast and forecast based advice) that are gender- inclusive and useful for both men and women farmers.

READ about Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP). This approach uses seasonal climate forecasts to inform decisions for more resilient livelihoods and risk management, thereby strengthening adaptive capacity. PSP workshops create a multi-stakeholder platform for collective interpretation of meteorological and local forecasts and their probability and uncertainty.

EXPLORE the full Adaptation Good Practice Checklist to make sure your adaptation actions meet the criteria for actions that result in quality, impactful and long-term climate resilience for the most vulnerable people.

LEARN about what an Adaptation Fund proposal looks like with this funding proposal template.

LEARN how to prepare proposals that are aligned with the GCF’s requirements with a short
online course: Developing and Implementing GCF Funding Proposals.

Bright Spark

Bright Spark

Read case studies, watch videos, and listen to podcasts about young climate leaders to get fired up for your own climate change actions!

Examples of young people innovating for climate adaptation

WATCH this video featuring Mariama Mamane, UN Environment Young Champion of the Earth for Africa (2:53). Learn how her initiative offered a three-in-one solution to some of Africa’s biggest environmental problems. Her project uses the water hyacinth, which chokes waterways across the continent, to create sustainable energy and environmentally friendly fertilizers. Mariama, 27, who lives in Burkina Faso, is one of six winners – each representing a region of the world – awarded the new prize by UN Environment and polymer-producing giant Covestro.

WATCH the short film Adaptation Voices (4:00) by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). This film describes how young people are working with local communities in Kenya to scale up local ecological farming techniques to support adaptation. (To hear more from African adaptation experts on the possibilities for accelerating action, including inspiring case studies, visit CDKN).

WATCH Changing Africa’s Narrative (14:00) by TEDx Lusaka. Kelvin Doe talks about the importance of Africans changing their own narrative about the continent. Kelvin Doe is a self-taught Sierra Leonean engineer. A true inventor by age fifteen, Kelvin built his own radio station using discarded scrap metal and electrical items that he found in his hometown. Kelvin finds solutions to problems in his community, for example, making batteries to light homes in Sierra Leone where electricity supply is inconsistent, or building a generator.

WATCH Youth for Climate Action: Breaking Barriers (2:30) by UN Climate Change Learn to get inspired to do more to address climate change. Reuben and Yande, from Zambia, are tired
of inaction. They don’t want to sit idly while the world is facing the climate crisis. Hear their message and take a stand.

Cool Down

Cool Down

Your last stop. Here, you have space to test your knowledge (with a short quiz) and consider how you can apply what you have learned to your own climate action.

Test your understanding

You have learnt a lot and have many red hot ideas. Test your knowledge with a quiz and give yourself space to cool down and reflect on what you have learnt. Use this section to take stock of how you will put your skills into action.

1 / 5
Which of the following combinations are participatory tools you would use to map risks, vulnerabilities, and adaptive capacities in a community?
Correct answer: a) Hazard map, interviews with people and workshops and dialogues with community stakeholders, impact chains tool

EXPLANATION: Community participation is key for developing impactful adaptation actions and plans. Participatory tools help empower communities and give them ownership of adaptation plans and actions. CARE’s Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis Handbook provides tools such as the Hazard Map and Impact Chains Tool. You can also interview key community members and host workshops and dialogues.

2 / 5
When developing a Community Adaptation Action Plan, you should check proposed adaptation actions against the ..........(fill in the missing word):
Correct answer: c) Adaptation Good Practice Checklist

EXPLANATION: Whatever adaptation actions you plan to undertake as part of your Community Adaptation Action Plan, it is important to assess them against the Adaptation Good Practice (AGP) checklist. The checklist’s nine criteria help ensure that adaptation results in quality, impactful and long-term climate resilience for the most vulnerable people.

3 / 5
When developing your framework for Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation, the first step is to: (select the correct answer)
Correct answer: c) Develop a results chain

EXPLANATION: Your first step when developing a MEL framework is to develop a results chain. This shows how a particular action will lead to a desired result. The results chain should be accompanied by SMART indicators for your adaptation action(s).

4 / 5
Fill in the blank. When thinking about scaling up your adaptation action, you should check that it is technically feasible, financially viable, socially acceptable and pays attention to................ :
Correct answer: d) Gender dimensions

EXPLANATION: After implementing your adaptation action in its initial stage, and evaluating the outcomes, you might be pleased to see that it has been successful and has potential for scaling up. At this stage, it’s important to consider how the intervention supports effective adaptation. Check to see that your action supports effective climate change adaptation. Consider:

  • Technical feasibility: can the intervention withstand variations in climate? Can it be easily used by your target community without the need for help from specialists?
  • Financial viability: is the intervention cost-effective and can it be sustained financially over the short, medium and long term?
  • Social acceptability: does the intervention disrupt social cohesion or create division among members of a community. If so, how might you build bridges between people and bring people with different opinions together to create a shared understanding of the benefits of the action?
  • Gender dimensions: does the adaptation action support the agency and wellbeing of women and girls?
5 / 5
Which of the following should you not do when engaging with investors? (select the correct answer)
Correct answer: b) Rely on the product or service alone to entice them

EXPLANATION: When engaging with investors, you will need to show them that you can guarantee a return on investment, have traction in the market, have good governance structures in place for your business, have a sound financial model and a competitive advantage, among other things.

You have now completed this module

Your quiz score is 0 correct answers out of 5 questions.

Reflect and prepare for your climate adaptation action

Consider the following questions to get you started with developing your own adaptation action plan.

Adaptation needs in your community:

  1. What are the main climate change risks and vulnerabilities in your community?
  2. What climate adaptation actions are already happening to address these?
  3. What gaps exist? Are there actions you think are needed but not being implemented by anyone else?

Partners and participants:

  1. Which organizations, individuals, community groups or institutions are already doing adaptation work in your community? Which of these might you partner with?
  2. Which marginalized groups in your community do you need to include in your adaptation action planning? How can you include them?

Possible funding:

  1. What sources of funding are available to support local adaptation actions led by young people in your area? (Do some research to see what’s out there).
  2. How might you access this funding?
  3. If you need to work with a larger youth organization to access funding, how can you
    approach them and encourage them to partner with you?