Scaling up support for locally led adaptation

July 2021 - June 2022

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.

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 as the UK COP26 presidency seeks to raise support for locally led adaptation 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 the 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), ENDA, 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

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.

For example, 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.


Seven priorities for an inclusive Global Goal on Adaptation, Aditya V. Bahadur, Emilie Beauchamp, Lilian Motaroki (2022), IIED Briefing

Taking stock of the Global Goal on Adaptation: from the Paris Agreement to the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work programme, Emilie Beauchamp (2022), Working paper | français | português | español

Scaling up locally led adaptation, Anna Carthy, Clara Gallagher, Marek Soanes (2022), Event/workshop report

Additional resources

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)

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

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


UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO)

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)


Caribbean Natural Resource Institute (CANARI)

Center for the Autonomy and Development of Indigenous Peoples (CADPI) (Spanish language) 


Huairou Commission

International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)

Save the Children Australia

Slum and Shack Dwellers international (SDI)

South South North (SSN)

World Resources Institute (WRI)

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