Do direct-access and indirect-access adaptation projects differ in their focus on local communities? A systematic analysis of 63 Adaptation Fund projects

O.P. Manuamorn*, R. Biesbroek

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Recent literature suggests that direct national access to multilateral climate funds could promote climate change adaptation investment that focuses more on the needs of vulnerable local communities when compared to indirect access through multilateral agencies. However, there has been no systematic comparative assessment of the level of community focus of direct-access and indirect-access projects. The lack of a standardized methodology to assess the level of community-focused adaptation has also constrained such comparison. To address this gap, this paper proposes a new framework to assess the level of community focus in adaptation projects, using a combination of financial, participatory, devolutionary, and design for policy adoption and replicability criteria. Using the Adaptation Fund (AF) as a case study, we apply the framework to systematically assess 63 projects approved by the Fund as of May 2017, comprising 22 direct-access and 41 indirect-access projects. We find that direct-access projects are more community-focused than indirect-access projects because they exhibit higher community-oriented financial, participatory, and devolutionary characteristics. We find no difference between the direct-access and indirect-access projects with regard to how they are designed to promote policy adoption and replicability of AF project-financed adaptation actions through policy and geographical mainstreaming. Our findings contribute to an improved understanding of the pattern of adaptation investment that takes place in developing countries with the support of international adaptation finance under both access modalities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number139
    Number of pages15
    JournalRegional Environmental Change
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


    • adaptation fund
    • challenges
    • climate change adaptation
    • climate finance
    • climate-change adaptation
    • community
    • decentralization
    • devolution
    • finance
    • governance
    • participation
    • vulnerability
    • Participation
    • Adaptation Fund
    • Climate change adaptation
    • Devolution
    • Climate finance
    • Community

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