Project : Subnational climate compatible development - Learning from CDKN’s experience

Project : Subnational climate compatible development - Learning from CDKN’s experience

CDKN’s projects to support climate compatible development span from the sub-continental to the city or local level. As CDKN entered its fourth year, we embarked on a range of initiatives to share learning from our programme to date. One of these was a major initiative to capture and synthesise lessons learned from our work at the sub-national level in developing countries. The focus was on our projects to mainstream climate adaptation and/or mitigation action into sub-national governmental policies and programmes in cities, states and provinces.

We saw that there is an opportunity to reflect more systematically on lessons we have learned - and that, if better documented, this learning could be shared more proactively and thus more strategically. In this way, CDKN’s learning can inform other bilateral and international agencies looking to programme climate funds, and developing country decision-makers who are struggling to progress climate adaptation and resilience, low carbon development and inclusive growth simultaneously.

Key objectives of the project were to:

  • capture and disseminate key lessons from CDKN’s experience on the success factors and preconditions, drivers and barriers to subnational climate compatible development
  • develop a supportive community of practice among researchers, development consultants and local decision-makers who are designing and delivering climate compatible development at the subnational level


Within the framework of this project, CDKN staff and members of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability joined forces and organised a workshop held in Bonn on 3-4 June 2013 with many project leaders and project managers from CDKN-supported local climate initiatives, across the world. Participants in the workshop reflected on the drivers, barriers, enabling factors and innovative solutions that lead to climate compatible development at city and sub-national level. During this two-day workshop 10 CDKN projects were presented, in order to test key learning questions and reflections about what is specific to climate compatible development at the sub-national level. Afterwards, the project representatives returned home and used a common (but adaptable) methodology to spearhead learning enquiries with their own home teams.

Recent update

A second workshop was hosted by CDKN and ICLEI at Resilient Cities 2014 for selected participants to present their learnings of implementing climate compatible development at the local level. The event saw the launch of the joint paper Close to home: Subnational strategies for climate compatible development which explores a number of successful strategies of climate resilience and low carbon development that communities and leaders have pursued at the subnational level.

The following projects are participating in the learning programme:

The following Inside Stories have been published as a result of the above projects and provide practical knowledge sharing for local government officials and their advisors (eg, researchers and NGOs) in developing countries, as well as sharing lessons in a wider global community of practice.