Theories of change for low carbon resilient development

Policies for low carbon resilient development aim to support climate resilient development in the poorest countries while also addressing climate change through reducing carbon emissions. This research programme seeks to bring together the two aspects of the climate change debate: mitigation and adaptation.


Susannah Fisher, Senior researcher

Installing solar panels in Rwanda. Photo: Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF)

National governments in the least developed countries (LDCs) are increasingly considering how to incorporate the low carbon resilient development agenda into their future plans. It is important to ensure that the low carbon resilient development agenda actively supports development and improved livelihoods for the poorest communities, as well as addressing low carbon issues.

This research will address the question of how and why some LDC countries are moving towards low carbon resilient development policies. It will analyse in particular the organisations and individuals involved in developing these policies, their priorities for a low carbon resilient development agenda, and potential tensions and contradictions between the low carbon agenda and the development objectives of the LDCs.

The project will then develop theories of change outlining the main factors and key institutions that contribute to developing an inclusive low carbon resilient development pathway in different contexts. These will be developed through country-level workshops with partner organisations in the south. These theories of change will be an important tool for national governments wishing to ensure that an international policy emphasis on low emissions is tied into development objectives in the long-term.

The project will run over three years (2012-2015) and will involve active collaboration with governments and key stakeholders in the case study countries. The project will involve in-depth analysis in three countries that have a broad range of experiences with the low emission development agenda (Rwanda, Bangladesh and Bolivia) as well as a broader analysis of policy developments in other LDCs.



Low-carbon resilient development in the Least Developed Countries, Susannah Fisher (2013), IIED Briefing Paper

Additional resources

16 Oct 2013

Some of the least developed countries are at the forefront of an approach that combines efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change and achieve economic and social...

10 Jul 2013 

Is it fair to ask Bangladesh to adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions? How does the government view this approach?

20 Jun 2013 

How can the private sector be effectively engaged not just to reduce the long-term impacts of climate change, but also to help communities adapt to the changes they’re experiencing now?

06 Mar 2013 

Rwanda hopes climate change will provide an opportunity to secure additional climate finance. Will its new finance mechanism succeed?

22 Jan 2013 

Instead of talking about climate change mitigation or adaptation, low carbon resilience has become the new buzzword in climate policy.


This research is funded through a Department for International Development accountable grant to IIED.