The National Adaptive Capacity Framework: Key Institutional Functions for a Changing Climate

The National Adaptive Capacity (NAC) Framework represents a new way of thinking about adaptation planning and evaluation, which is being designed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in consultation with a wide range of adaptation experts and stakeholders.  NAC takes as its starting point the idea that all national adaptation systems will need to perform a similar set of functions if adaptation is to proceed effectively.

NAC’s functions-based approach contrasts somewhat with other frameworks for thinking about adaptive capacity. Most other frameworks have tended to focus on assets, rather than functions, as indicators of adaptive capacity. To put it simply, assets-based indicators help answer the question, “What resources do I have that can help me adapt?” NAC’s functions-based approach, on the other hand, asks, “What am I able to do that can help me adapt?”

Evaluators can use NAC to assess overall progress on building adaptive capacity over several years or more. Those interested in evaluating the impact of a particular intervention (e.g., a discrete regulatory change, or introduction of a particular technology) may find that this is not the best tool.

Excerpt

"NAC takes as its starting point the idea that all national adaptation systems will need to perform a similar set of functions if adaptation is to proceed effectively. These functions include, for example, assessment of vulnerability, coordination of different adaptation actors, and management of climate-relevant information. Of course, in different countries these functions may be performed very differently – in different sequences, by different actors, with different values and emphases – but the core functions will be essentially the same." (WRI 2009 p1)

Contents

  • Understanding Adaptation “Functions”
  • Adaptive Planning Cycle
  • Who Might Want to Use NAC?
  • NAC Adaptation Functions Summary (Table)
  • Assessment Function (Table)
  • Prioritization Function (Table)
  • Coordination Function (Table)
  • Information Management Function (Table)
  • Climate Risk Reduction Function (Table)

Source

World Resources Institute (WRI) 2009   The National Adaptive Capacity Framework. Key Institutional Functions for a Changing Climate Washington DC, WRI. Retrieved from http://pdf.wri.org/working_papers/NAC_framework_2009-12.pdf

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