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Climate change adaptation in international development

We work with policy makers, practitioners and communities in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region to build capacity and reduce vulnerabilities to climate change impacts.

Drawing on scientific background on the drivers of climate change and a practical understanding of its impacts, we are able to draw links across different sectors and scales. Our work covers both urban and rural contexts, community-based, regional and national-scales, and extends from resource management issues, to behavioural change initiatives, to social, institutional and ecological resilience, and cities and urban development.

Key projects in this area:

Humanitarian response and development in urban contexts (2017)

Client: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Institute researchers are contributing to the goal of improving humanitarian response in urban contexts through research for the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). The aim of the research is to learn from Fiji’s Western Division experience of integrating development planning and risk response following the response to Tropical Cyclone Winston, which struck Fiji in 2016. Such learning will generate useful lessons for sub-national and national governments of Fiji, governments and donors in the Pacific region and also beyond. Lessons will focus on how humanitarian response can and has contributed to development goals in urban contexts.

Village in Fiji

Learning Event for DFAT’s Community Based Climate Change Action Grants (CBCCAG)

With Griffin NRM for DFAT

The Institute's Jo Chong was invited by Griffin NRM to co-design and facilitate a Learning Event for DFAT’s Community Based Climate Change Action Grants (CBCCAG) Roundtable. The CBCCAG was a $30 million initiative for NGOs to support community-based adaptation and mitigation activities in developing countries. NGOs from countries throughout the Asia-Pacific participated in the Learning Event. 

Development of Joint State Action Plans for the Federated States of Micronesia (2014 – 2016)

Client: Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC)

This work involved supporting State governments of the Federated States of Micronesia to develop State Joint Action Plans for climate change and disaster risk management. The Action Plans were developed in partnership with multiple stakeholders across government, private sector and civil society. Relevant actions were developed to build on existing resources, capacity and knowledge in the community whilst also addressing vulnerability and risk. ISF devised and facilitated the consultation process and drafted the Action Plans in partnership with government and SPC.

volcanic lake

Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Research (2016)

Client: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)

This research analysed the implications of climate change and disaster risk for MFAT’s development programming. The findings informed MFAT’s development policy, strategy and programming on climate change and resilience through exploring how MFAT should implement targeted and mainstream approaches to strengthening resilience through the New Zealand Aid Programme; and identifying investment areas and opportunities that are likely to produce the best value-add or benefit to development programming.

Facilitating community adaptation to water shortages in Kiribati 

thumbnail Facilitator's Guide

In the water-scarce Pacific Island nation of Kiribati wells that supply water are increasingly affected by saltwater intrusion due to high tides, sea level rise and increasingly frequent storms and tropical cyclones. A handbook has been produced to help local facilitators train communities to identify climate change adaptation strategies by drawing from various sources of knowledge, including traditional knowledge. [Download English PDF

Pacific Australia Climate Change Science Adaptation Planning Program (PACCSAP) Evaluation (2014)

Client: Australian Government – Department of the Environment


Independent review of PACCSAP stakeholder feedback, an initiative of the Australian Government aimed at developing the capacity of Pacific Island Countries to manage future climate risk.

mangrove plantations

Mangrove plantations in the Kiribati islands. These natural systems can help reduce vulnerability to climate change

Evaluation of Child-Centred Climate Change Adaptation (4CA) in the Pacific (2014)

Client: Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI) and Plan International Australia

Independent evaluation of the first phase of Australian Aid funded “Child Centered Climate Change Adaptation (4CA)” program, involving engagement with children and communities in Fiji, Tonga and Kiribati on linkages between climate change adaptation activities with broader advocacy and practice change in local communities and beyond.

Kiribati school children

Children in Kiribati perform a song and dance about climate change actions they can take at home

Local government monitoring of water and sanitation service vulnerability to climate change

This research project investigates the potential role and value of local government in Vanuatu in collecting information on the vulnerability of household- and community-based water and sanitation services to climate change for the purpose of informing future adaptation efforts. 

Disaster Related Human Mobility within Relevant Pacific Regional Laws, Policies and Frameworks (2013)

Client: Nansen Initiative

This project involved analysing the degree to which disaster related human mobility, migration and displacement issues are included in Pacific regional policies and frameworks. Key experts in Pacific mobility, migration and displacement were interviewed. Results were presented to the Nansen Initiative to form part of their Working Paper Series on climate change, disaster and human mobility. Disaster related human mobility within relevant Pacific regional laws, policies and frameworks – Discussion Paper

Joint National Action Plan for climate change adaptation and disaster management: Government of Republic of the Marshall Islands (2013)

Client: Applied Geoscience Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC/SOPAC)

Development and refinement of a three-year action plan for the Pacific Island Country of the Marshall Islands in the area of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.

Climate Change Adaptation in the Philippines: Children and their Communities (2012 – 2015)

Client: Plan International Australia

ISF is research partner to Plan International Australia and Save the Children’s community based adaptation grant in the Philippines. In our role as research partner, we are developing a framework of local-level climate change adaptation indicators based on the perspective of local children and communities.
A partnership for learning, reflection and evaluation in action: Exploring opportunities for understanding program impact. ACFID University Network Case Study Series, Academic and NGO Research Partnerships, February 2015.
Child-Centred Community-Based Climate Change Adaptation in the Philippines: Guidance Document for Local Adaptation Indicators.

Understanding the Pacific’s adaptive capacity to emergencies in the context of climate change (2012 – 2013)

Client: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)

Disasters, and therefore disaster response, in the Pacific are expected to be affected by climate change. This research addressed this issue, and focused on the immediate humanitarian needs following a disaster, drawing upon adaptive capacity as a concept to assess the resilience of individual organisations and the robustness of the broader system of disaster response. ISF partnered with WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health at UTS.

ISF and WHO Collaborating Centre researchers in the Cook Islands with Red Cross

ISF and WHO Collaborating Centre researchers in the Cook Islands with Red Cross

Research outputs from this project:

Disaster response and climate change in the Pacific – Final Report

Review of Australia’s Overseas Disaster and Emergency Response Sector

Background Review: Disaster Response Systems of Four Pacific Island Countries

Projected Climate Change Impacts in the Pacific

Poster presented at the NCCARF 2012 Conference

Australia Indonesia Partnership Climate Change and Environment Sector Strategy and Adaptation programme design - methods of monitoring and evaluation in Indonesia- AusAID (2011-2012)

Client: AusAID

Drawing on theories of change ISF researchers developed innovative approaches to monitoring and evaluation for AusAID’s climate change and environment strategy and its climate change adaptation program in Indonesia.

Joint National Action Plan for climate change adaptation and disaster management: Government of Niue (2011)

Client: Applied Geoscience Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC/SOPAC)

Development of a three-year action plan for the Pacific Island Country of Niue in the area of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.

Project participants discussing adaptation and risk management

Project participants discussing adaptation and risk management

 

Read more about our climate change adaptation work in Australia and developed countries.