World Resource Institute

Locally Led Action Track

For more information or to get involved, please contact Cristina Rumbaitis Del Rio.


While communities are at the frontlines of climate change impacts, they rarely have an effective voice in prioritizing, decision-making, and implementing the actions that most affect them. The Global Commission on Adaptation’s flagship report, Adapt Now, calls for increasing the volume of devolved and decentralized funding available to local governments, community-based organizations, and others working at the local level to identify, prioritize, implement, and monitor climate adaptation solutions.

Action Track Goal

The Commission’s Locally Led Action Track goal is to spur governments and funders to expand financial resources available to local governments, community-based organizations, and other local actors, and to help create structures that give local groups greater influence on decision-making.

The Commission is mobilizing a wide range of partners to achieve this goal by pursuing four main activities in 2020.

1. Engaging grassroots organizations

We will work with grassroots organizations to raise awareness of the imperative for locally led adaptation, and opportunities to access funding. We will convene grassroots-donor dialogues to shape the design of more effective mechanisms to support locally led action. We will also develop a long-term platform for peer and knowledge exchange on locally led action.

Key 2020 deliverable

Mechanism to support long-term learning amongst grassroots organizations, funders, and national governments on locally led adaptation.

Long-term target

Donors, aid agencies and governments significantly increase the quantity and quality of devolved finance available for locally led adaptation action by 2030, in partnership with grassroots leaders.

2. Mobilizing international funding for locally led adaptation

We aim to increase the quality and quantity of devolved climate finance. To mobilize commitments, we will engage donors and support them in expanding, strengthening, or creating new or planned initiatives on finance for locally led adaptation action. We will convene dialogues to bring grassroots leaders into conversations with donors as they design mechanisms to support locally led action.

Key 2020 deliverable

A minimum of 3 major donors commit to expanding or creating mechanisms to fund locally led action, totaling at least $500 million.

Long-term target

Donors, aid agencies and governments significantly increase the quantity and quality of devolved finance available for locally led adaptation action by 2030, in partnership with grassroots leaders.

3. Engaging national government leadership for local action

We will identify barriers and solutions to enable governments to increasingly devolve climate adaptation funding. We will identify priority countries and support them in increasing devolution through capacity building, knowledge products, and peer-to-peer exchange. These efforts will give countries access to a network of partners that can help them better devolve climate funding and implement strategies for enhancing local community involvement in adaptation.

Key 2020 deliverable

At least 5 countries pledge to devolve climate finance and put in place measures to support devolution.

Long-term target

50 countries have supportive national enabling environments for locally led adaptation action and finance by 2030.

4. Finance and monitoring and evaluation tracking

We will co-develop a finance tracking methodology to enable accurate assessment of whether and how adaptation finance is reaching the local level to support locally-led adaptation action. When implemented at scale it will provide an overall picture of the quantity and quality of adaptation finance reaching the local level within a given country or region and the gaps. In addition, we will co-develop a framework for monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) from the results and benefits of devolved climate adaptation finance. The ultimate objective is for donors, governments, and intermediary actors and local actors themselves to track benefits and results and learn from locally led adaptation over time.

Key 2020 deliverables

A methodology to help countries track whether adaptation finance is reaching the local level; a MEL framework to capture and track benefits and results from devolved climate adaptation finance; results from preliminary pilot tests.

Long-term target

Learning and tracking mechanisms exist to support the capacities needed to monitor, plan, implement, innovate and evolve locally led adaptation practice by 2021.

Key Events and Milestones

Below are select key milestones and events for 2020, where Commissioners and partners can engage and support the Action Track. Partners can engage by providing technical, political, or financial support that contributes to the Action Track goals, and by helping amplify the initiatives. Partnerships are essential to the success of this Action Track, and we welcome new partners.

  • Gobeshona Conference – Dhaka, Bangladesh – Jan. 20-22
    • Launch of the Action Track and consultations with community and grassroots groups
  • Africa Climate Week – Kampala, Uganda – Apr. 20-24
    • Outreach sessions to share lessons learned and promote cross-donor dialogue; consultations with local stakeholders
  • Adaptation Futures Conference – New Delhi, India – Apr. 27-30
    • Donor dialogues; Outreach sessions to share findings from country case studies, feedback sessions on finance and monitoring evaluation tracking
  • Community-based Adaptation Conference – Bangkok, Thailand – May 18-21
    • Outreach sessions to share findings from country case studies and promote peer exchange
  • Adaptation Summit – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Oct. 22
    • Select final deliverables to be launched
  • COP26 – Glasgow, UK – Nov. 9-19
    • Select final deliverables to be launched

Current Partners

  • ACT Alliance
  • Adaptation Fund
  • Asian Development Bank
  • BRAC
  • Global Resilience Partnership
  • Green Climate Fund
  • Huairou Commission
  • International Center for Climate Change and Development
  • International Institute for Environment and Development
  • Least Developed Countries Universities Consortium for Climate Change
  • Slum/Shack Dwellers International
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
  • UN Development Programme
  • World Bank