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How to Track Adaptation to Climate Change: A Typology of Approaches for National-Level Application

The driver behind this paper is the need to track climate change adaptation progress and lack of ability to do this thanks to the complex nature of adaptation and the absence of measurable outcomes or indicators by which to judge if and how adaptation is occurring. The authors developed a typology of approaches by which climate change adaptation can be tracked globally at a national level. They conclude that major challenges lie in operationalising approaches, including an absence of systematically collected data on adaptation actions and outcomes, underlying difficulties of defining what constitutes ‘adaptation’, and a disconnect between the timescale over which adaptation plays out and the practical need for evaluation to inform policy. Given the development of new adaptation funding streams, the paper argues that it is imperative that tools for monitoring progress are developed and validated for identifying trends and gaps in adaptation response.