Scaling up support for locally led adaptation

IIED and partners are working to identify and showcase the many diverse and inspiring approaches within developing countries and across the whole-of-society for getting climate finance to the local level and behind the priorities of local people.

July 2021 - December 2022
Ebony Holland

Principal researcher, nature-climate policy lead, Natural Resources/Climate Change research groups

Mobilising money to where it matters
A programme of work helping to initiate a positive shift in the quantity and quality of climate finance reaching the local level to support locally-led solutions that address climate change, poverty and biodiversity loss
No description available.

Three failed rainy seasons have resulted in Ethiopia's worst drought in 50 years (Photo: EU/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie via FlickrCC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Too often, local people and communities do not have a voice in climate adaptation decisions that directly affect their lives and livelihoods. 

While it’s not necessary for all adaptation needs to be locally owned or led, countries and local stakeholders are demanding greater efforts and commitment to putting more resources, and specifically climate finance, into local hands for local adaptation priorities. 

This project seeks to generate and shine a light on inspiring examples of approaches – or ‘delivery mechanisms’ – that are effectively governing and financing locally led adaptation.  

By doing so, we aim to show that there are many diverse approaches within developing countries and across the whole of society for getting climate finance to the local level and behind the priorities of local people. Ultimately, the goal is to leverage significant climate finance resources to the local level. 

The project is associated with the Adaptation Action Coalition, the UN High Level Champions and Race to Resilience following the launch of the eight principles for locally led adaptation (LLA). A poster explaining the principles is also available on IIED's Flickr platform.

It is delivered through partnerships across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, including IIED, the World Resources Institute (WRI), International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Huairou Commission, Slum and Shack Dwellers international (SDI), South South North (SSN), Caribbean Natural Resource Institute (CANARI), Save the Children Australia, ENDA and CADPI.  

What is IIED doing? 

Governance of an active community of practice for shared learning and accountability on LLA 

Partners are supporting an active community of practice where Southern national and local actors will be able to hold each other and international actors accountable on LLA, and effectively share learning to advance LLA in practice. 

Advancing peer-to-peer learning for LLA mechanisms 

Partners ran a series of six peer-to-peer regional dialogues across Africa, the Asia-Pacific region and the Caribbean and Latin America in September and October 2021, bringing together government representatives with those from civil society, the private sector and other non-state actors.  

The dialogues facilitated partnerships and helped identify financial support for state and non-state locally led adaptation delivery mechanisms or initiatives.  

You can watch the September and October dialogues, plus individual case study extracts, in the playlist below or on IIED’s YouTube channel.

There are 24 recorded dialogues and case studies in this playlist

This work continued in 2022, and the LLA partners organised a number of events at international initiatives.

This included 'Supporting locally led adaptation action' at the MENA regional climate week; the Second Gobeshona Global Conference focused on bringing together LLA practitioners, 'Bangladesh consultations on Locally-Led Adaptation in May 2022'; 'CBA16 and locally led adaptation: an interactive dialogue' session at London Climate Action Week; an ENDA Energie regional workshop on locally led-adaptation, and the 16th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation, which focused on putting LLA principles into practice.

Beyond the dialogues, partners are building on experiences of LLA mechanisms to further develop the body of evidence of these being put in practice, demonstrating that LLA works on the ground.

An interactive map of LLA experiences has been developed, which showcases where different approaches to locally led adaptation have flourished around the world and provides examples of the eight principles of LLA in action.

The Good Climate Finance Guide on investing in locally-led adaptation, due to be published in November 2022, will collate and analyse examples of how the principles in action can inspire and encourage others to improve their own practice and join the LLA movement.

Scaling up LLA through good partnership

A series of stakeholder meetings are taking place with the different actors of the climate finance landscape to explore what good partnership looks like. The lessons from these events will culminate in an event at COP27 where social movements, climate finance providers and intermediaries will come together to hear stories and practical suggestions from the ground up about the transformation needed to enable finance to flow to the local level, and how local actors can improve linkages with providers.

Peer-to-peer learning methodology on Enhanced Direct Access for LLA mechanisms

IIED and its partners are working on distilling good practice on accessing climate finance for mechanisms that devolve climate finance decision making to the local level, aligned with the LLA principles, focusing on Enhanced Direct Access, and an online workshop was held as part of London Climate Action Week in July 2022.

360-degree accountability and the independent verification of climate finance flows

The lack of clarity around the quality and quantity of adaptation finance reaching the local level hinders the delivery of LLA. IIED and its partners are working on a 360-degree approach which builds evidence and shared understanding about how to make progress towards LLA.

IIED analysed climate finance pledges announced by 22 bilateral providers at COP26 to understand if providers are on track to deliver their commitment of doubling adaptation finance by 2025 to US$40 billion a year. The result was a backgrounder and press release, released for Bonn 2022. A blog is also planned to explore the implications of this target being met, in terms of the impact it can have in Small Island Developing States and least developed countries.

Collaboratively setting the direction and co-designing the strategy for the next phase of LLA work with partners as an inclusive participatory process

The core group of 10 LLA partners has embarked in a journey to discuss their collective vision, setting the direction for the next phase of LLA, determining objectives and designing workstreams and activities. This process culminated in agreeing a collective long-term strategy (PDF) for the next phase of LLA up to 2030.

Additional resources

Document: Climate and Development Ministerial Forward Plan: transforming climate and development delivery (PDF) (2022)

Document: Locally led adaptation long-term strategy (PDF) (June 2022) | en français | en español

Conference: CBA16: putting the LLA principles into practice (October 2022)

Webinar: CBA16 and locally led adaptation: an interactive dialogue (June 2022)

Webinar: Enhanced Direct Access to climate finance: "I wish I knew that at the start!" (July 2022)

Fair share of adaptation finance in 2025, Clare Shakya, Jonathan Barnes (2022), Backgrounder

Press release: Rich countries on track to give little more than half of climate adaptation finance promised at COP26 (June 2022)

Interactive map: Examples of locally led adaptation experiences across the world

Poster: The principles of locally led adaptation (May 2022)

Videos: playlist of recordings from the peer-to-peer dialogues across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean (September and October 2021)

Follow the money: tracking least developed countries’ adaptation finance to the local level, Marek Soanes, Clare Shakya, Sam Barrett, Dave Steinbach, Nora Nisi, Barry Smith, Josie Murdoch (2021), Issue paper

Podcast: Locally led adaptation – a time for action (May to June 2021)

Principles for locally led adaptation, Marek Soanes, Aditya V. Bahadur, Clare Shakya, Barry Smith, Sejal Patel, Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Tamara Coger, Ayesha Dinshaw, Sheela Patel, Saleemul Huq, Muhammad Musa, M Feisal Rahman, Suranjana Gupta, Glenn Dolcemascolo, Tracy Mann (2021), Issue Paper

Article: Principles for locally led adaptation (January 2021)

Blog: Locally led adaption to climate change: the start of a 10-year learning journey, by Saleemul Huq and Clare Shakya (January 2021)

Podcast: Promoting locally led adaptation in climate action (December 2020)

Blog: East African climate groups help fight the COVID-19 crisis, by Emma Illick-Frank (December 2020)

News: Raising ambition in locally-led action for 2021: calling for business unusual (November 2020)

Good climate finance guide: lessons for strengthening devolved climate finance, Sejal Patel, Marek Soanes, M Feisal Rahman, Barry Smith, Dave Steinbach, Sam Barrett (November 2020), Working paper

Why local leadership matters, Marek Soanes, Simon Addison, Clare Shakya (2020), Briefing

Closing the learning loop in locally led adaptation, Barry Smith (2020), Briefing

Blog: Five benefits to local action on climate resilience, by Emma Illick-Frank and David Mfitumukiza (June 2020)

Calling for business unusual: mechanisms for delivering change, Marek Soanes (2020), Briefing

Reforming climate finance, Clare Shakya, Marek Soanes, Barry Smith (2019), Briefing

Money where it matters: designing funds for the frontier, Marek Soanes, Clare Shakya, Anna Walnycki, Sam Greene (2019), Issue paper

Delivering real change: getting international climate finance to the local level, Marek Soanes, Neha Rai, Paul Steele, Clare Shakya, James MacGregor (2017), Working paper (2017)