Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative (AFAI)

The amount of international climate finance for developing countries to adapt to climate change and strengthen climate resilience has increased in recent years, particularly to meet commitments agreed in the UNFCCC negotiations to address climate change impacts. At the same time, many developing country governments are increasing their own spending on climate change adaptation and resilience, recognizing the risks that climate change already poses to their people and economies.

But there are significant questions about the implementation of these funds:

  • How much adaptation finance is actually available within developing countries?
  • How is it being directed and used and by whom?
  • Is it reaching the local level? Are the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable being met and do they have a say in how the finance is used?

To address these essential issues, Oxfam, the Overseas Development Institute, and the World Resources Institute – together with civil society groups in developing countries – have launched the Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative (AFAI). Building on ongoing work at national, regional and global levels to monitor and strengthen accountability for adaptation finance, the initiative initially focuses on four countries in collaboration with civil society organizations there – the Zambia Climate Change Network, Clean Energy Network (Nepal), Climate Action Network Uganda, and Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (Philippines).

AFAI Partners:


Together we are:

  • Developing tools to enable civil society and other stakeholders to track and monitor adaptation finance flows from a multitude of sources down to the local level.
  • Identifying institutional constraints to the effective delivery of climate finance to poor and vulnerable groups, and opportunities to empower local civil society to overcome these constraints.
  • Supporting national and local civil society capacity to advocate for improved transparency, coherence and alignment of climate finance, and increased accountability to citizens for the use of this finance.
  • Developing opportunities for South to South learning by enabling civil society groups across a number of Asian and African countries to share insights, exchange experiences, and jointly develop advocacy strategies.
  • Distilling lessons from piloting monitoring tools and advocacy to improve transparency and accountability in climate finance delivery
  • Influencing global efforts to mobilize and manage climate finance, including the oversight under the UNFCCC, the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund, and bilateral climate finance

Reported Adaptation Commitments and Recipients:


These graphics are based on information collected by the Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative and include donor reported commitments for 2010 and 2011. The graphics have been designed by Visilio Designs.

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Further reading

  1. Research

    From Tracking to Action: Promoting Social Accountability in Adaptation Finance

  2. Research

    Delivery of Adaptation Finance in Uganda: Assessing Institutions at Local Government Levels

    The study tracked and reviewd adaptation finance flows from international to local levels in Uganda during the financial years 2010/22 and 2013/14.  It examined the institutional framework governing climate change adaptation and the different implementation mechanisms of adaptation funds in Apac, Bundibugyo, Nakasongola, Pallisa, and Mbale.  This involved tracking four projects: National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) pilots, Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC), Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change in Uganda, and Sustainable Land Management (SLM).

  3. Research

    Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative - Zambia Country Report

    Because most of Zambia’s population lives in poverty,it is imperative that people receive assistance to adapt to climate change. The impacts of climatechange over the last 30 years, such as floods and droughts, were estimated to have cost Zambia $13.8 billion in GDP loses. Sectors heavily reliant on natural resources, in particular rain-fed agriculture on which most of the population relies on for their livelihoods, appear to be the most vulnerable to climate change. Existing and planned infrastructure projects are also at risk, due to more frequent and severe floods. It is therefore critical for Zambia to invest in climate adaptation to build resilient communities and economic sectors that are key to the country’s development path.

  4. Research

    Tracking adaptation finance

    This guide is designed to help civil society organizations (CSOs) track climate change adaptation finance flows. It provides essential background information and describes a five-step process for tracking adaptation finance.

  5. Research

    Going in the right direction? Tracking adaptation finance at the subnational level

    Our research finds that local projects labelled adaptation and funded by donors and national governments, do not always directly address climate change risks. This presents difficulties for tracking adaptation finance. There are also challenges in accessing information from some donors and national government agencies on how adaptation funds are actually dispersed.

    Decisions about adaptation project activities are often taken without a clear understanding of the priorities manifested at different scales. As a result initiatives tend either to satisfy community needs, or national level priorities, but the two priorities rarely relate to each other. National strategies for climate finance need to be informed by the priorities of subnational institutions and local communities.

    At sub-national level, stronger links to national organisations and international donors are needed to raise awareness and share project data. Streamlining of reporting mechanisms across administrative units would also make it easier for local governments and CSOs to access information on adaptation activities.

  6. Research

    Project Philippines: The Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative

    Philippines AFAI.jpg
  7. Research

    Finding the Money

    The amount of adaptation finance available to help developing countries adapt to climate change has increased dramatically since 2009. But where is the money going? How is the money being used? Is it reaching the local level to help the most vulnerable communities adapt to climate change? Understanding these questions is a critical part of ensuring the effectiveness of efforts to help people adapt to climate change. This report takes stock of climate change adaption finance committed to Nepal from public sources of international finance from 2009 to 2012. It concludes that more than 50% of the "adaptation finance" committed to Nepal by donor agencies are not relevant to adaptation at all.

    Nepal_AFAI_Stocktaking Report_Final.jpg
  8. Briefing paper

    The plumbing of adaptation finance

    The amount of international climate finance has increased considerably in the last five years, but how much finance is actually available within developing countries? How is it used? Who receives the money? Is it reaching the local level? And are the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people being met? This paper starts to answer these questions by analyzing adaptation finance flows in Nepal, the Philippines, Uganda, and Zambia.

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