The impacts of climate change are falling disproportionately on the world’s poorest nations and peoples, who are often the least able to cope. International funding is critical for adapting to a changing climate and building resilient societies. However in many countries, access to information about the distribution and use of climate finance is severely limited, making it difficult to assess how effectively it is being used in tackling vulnerability and meeting local priorities, whilst the mechanisms for dispersing climate finance remain at risk of corrupt abuse, waste and mismanagement. Finance for adaptation is more effective when its use is transparent and accountable, both to donors and international observers, but especially to local stakeholders. AdaptationWatch aims to sharply improve the tracking of investments in climate adaptation and resilience, including social monitoring and documentation of spending to the local level, supporting meaningful assessment of its effectiveness.


  • Develop methods to track climate finance and assess its value in promoting greater transparency, accountability, integrity and ultimately effectiveness of climate finance at national and subnational levels.

  • Strengthen the capacities of local stakeholders to participate meaningfully in monitoring and tracking climate adaptation finance.


  1. Build comprehensive national adaptation finance tracking and assessment systems based on our existing tracking tools in a number of already-engaged pilot countries, as a platform for greater transparency and coordination. The new tracking system will consist of a web interface which will provide activity-level information on all funded adaptation projects within the country. The tool will incorporate information from contributor agencies, recipient governments, climate funds, civil society groups, implementing agencies, individual community members and researchers. It will combine interactive maps, project records, recipient-provided documents and information, and user-sourced project feedback (for example via SMS and social media). Users can upload documents such as impact evaluations, add photos and videos (with date and location stamps, if possible), highlight news reports, and create links to other related projects and organizations. Users will be able to share project pages to Twitter or Facebook.

  2. Strengthen the capacity and engagement of local civil society organisations to monitor and assess adaptation finance at the local level, and support the emergence of “bottom- up” information to enhance monitoring efforts. This activity aims to go beyond tracking allocation of money and ask how has that money been spent, what has it achieved in terms of quality, environmental and social benefits, targeting the most vulnerable, and best value for the money.

  3. Explore the development of simpler finance tracking and effectiveness assessment systems for a number of less- prepared vulnerable countries, for private philanthropic finance, and for globally and domestically funded activities (“locally funded adaptation”).

  4. Outreach to and engagement with other vulnerable countries and stakeholders. AdaptationWatch partners will pilot civil society outreach and participation work. With AdaptationWatch partners, they will bring together key stakeholders and solicit input on how to categorize and track adaptation projects, and how to measure and improve effectiveness. Activities will contribute to existing civil society advocacy and capacity strengthening activities.

  5. Raise standards of governance for planning, accessing, delivering and monitoring climate finance.


A specific focus will be placed on improving crowdsourcing as a tool for generating ground-level information about adaptation projects. This information can be aligned with top-down data to create a more complete picture of the effectiveness of adaptation finance. Information from citizens can be used to monitor and assess the effectiveness of projects, and to influence the use of resources for local objectives. Local participation can provide data helping to visualize the fate of funding at an implementation level. We will undertake research into the factors that are most influential in the success (or failure) of crowdsourcing initiatives, building on work on the efficacy of outreach and the role of social media in monitoring development activities. AdaptationWatch will communicate the findings of this work at side-events during UNFCCC negotiations, via direct contact with negotiators and members of relevant bodies (such as the Adaptation Committee), at aid workshops (such as those organized by the OECD), in national legislatures in both contributor and recipient nations, and through civil society participation in the UNFCCC negotiations.