What makes climate change adaptation effective?

Project Dates

Increased understanding of global warming and documentation of its observable impacts have led to the development of adaptation responses to climate change around the world. A necessary, but often missing, component of adaptation involves the assessment of outcomes and impact. Through a systematic review of research literature, I categorize 110 adaptation initiatives that have been implemented and shown some degree of effectiveness. I analyze the ways in which these activities have been documented as successful using five indicators: reducing risk and vulnerability, developing resilient social systems, improving the environment, increasing economic resources, and enhancing governance and institutions. The act of cataloging adaptation activities produces insights for current and future climate action in three main areas: understanding the common attributes of effective adaptation initiatives; identifying gaps in adaptation research and practice that address equality, justice, and power dynamics; and establishing priorities for evaluating adaptation initiatives.

Supplementary data files for this research project are gathered in the list below.