Low- and middle-income countries are on the front lines of the climate crisis, experiencing many of the most devastating impacts. But they often face compounding challenges, including limited fiscal space and high debt burdens, which make it difficult to adapt to these changes at the necessary scale and pace.

As the impacts of climate change increasingly threaten the ability of countries to sustainably manage their economies, control their finances, and repay their debts, ministries of finance are key to ensuring that governments align their development and adaptation priorities and efficiently mobilize adaptation finance.

However, their capacity to do so is often constrained: An assessment conducted across six African countries found that ministries of finance often lack the data, models and skills to make decisions in a climate-informed manner. They are also left out of most adaptation-related technical assistance programs, which generally partner with sectoral ministries, such as ministries of environment, agriculture or public works.

The Resilience and Adaptation Mainstreaming Program (RAMP) leverages leading universities, research institutes and international technical partners to build the capacity of ministries of finance in vulnerable African countries to better manage climate change risks.

“The costs of building climate resilience are rising. We are incurring greater debt to manage climate risks, and this will get worse.  We welcome support from RAMP and the international community to better understand and manage these risks.”

– Sam Mugume, Assistant Commissioner at the Ministry of Finance of Uganda (2022)

By mainstreaming climate adaptation into the core capacities and operations of ministries of finance, governments will be better able to align and effectively pursue their adaptation and development priorities. As a result, they will also be better positioned to access adaptation finance.

RAMP enables ministries of finance to better manage climate change risks by improving staff knowledge and internal policies around the economics and finance of climate adaptation. Policymakers receive interdisciplinary training that emphasizes actionable skills related to their ministries’ core functions; these include macro-fiscal policies, budgeting, financial sector supervision, trade and public financial management. RAMP’s core curricula, shown below, is organized around three thematic clusters: economics, finance, and program design.

Economics Finance Program Design
  • Economics of Climate Adaptation
  • Fiscal Policy
  • Macroeconomic Modelling and Policy
  • Understanding Climate-related Macro-financial Risks
  • Adaptation Finance
  • Disaster Risk Finance
  • Climate Budgeting and Public Financial Management
  • Finance in Climate Negotiations
  • Sovereign Debt and Environmental Risks
  • Financial Sector Supervision
  • Economic and Financial Appraisal
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Public Procurement

Training courses are developed and facilitated by RAMP's University Network to ensure context-specific content and sustainable delivery. Faculty at member universities are trained to deliver a set of core academic and professional courses to current and future policymakers, and are supported to integrate course materials into existing or new university programs. The network also provides research funding to supplement course materials through case studies and conduct applied policy research oriented towards their country’s adaptation priorities.

RAMP’s University Network is managed by the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University of London and includes leading universities in a dozen countries across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. While its University Network is global in reach, RAMP’s engagement with ministries of finance is focused on low- and middle-income African countries that are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change. The map below shows where RAMP is active in Africa as of September 2023.

May 2024

March 2024

November 2023

Map of countries for RAMP implementation.

FAQ

1. How is RAMP different from other capacity-building programs?

RAMP is a unique program both in terms of its technical scope and programmatic approach. Most adaptation-related technical assistance programs support sector-specific analysis and planning, such as for energy, cities or agriculture, and NDCs often led by ministries of environment. By contrast, RAMP aims to mainstream climate risk management into the core functions of ministries of finance and build competencies around the macro-critical aspects of climate change. While international organizations such as the World Bank and NDCP are important technical partners, RAMP also values and leverages the deep expertise that already exists in countries by working with and through leading local universities.

2. Why is RAMP focused on supporting African countries?

Africa is home to seven out of the ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. The region’s collective debt has also increased at 4 times the rate of its GDP since 2010. Increasing climate vulnerability and debt stress in the region mean that adaptation action is urgently required but fiscally constrained. This creates an opportunity for RAMP to achieve high impact in the region by helping ministries of finance allocate resources more efficiently across priority sectors in pursuit of development and adaptation priorities.

3. Who is eligible to join the University Network?

Hosted by the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University of London, RAMP’s University Network is committed to building universities’ interdisciplinary research and teaching capacities around climate adaptation economics and finance in low- and middle-income countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Universities interested in joining the network should have established graduate programs and centers related to economics, finance or development policy; an interest in conducting relevant interdisciplinary research related to climate change adaptation; and experience delivering professional courses to policymakers. The University Network does not publish calls for membership applications, but interested universities are welcome to connect with Professor Ulrich Volz or Dr. Harald Heubaum on a rolling basis.

4. How can I find out more about RAMP?

RAMP issues periodic newsletters. If you would like to receive them directly, you can subscribe here. Also, feel free to contact any members of the RAMP team.

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