This report helps policy makers, practitioners and funding agencies identify emerging adaptation good practices and the conditions necessary for scaling up those good practices to achieve adaptation success at scale.

Key Findings

Scaling Framework

  • It’s time to think bigger. Adaptation activities need to shift from one-off, small scale activities to those that benefit more people and inform policy.

  • Scaling starts at the project design phase and requires dedicated resources. Project implementers, policy makers, and donors should consider the components of the scaling framework at the design phase of a project or policy implementation process to identify how adaptation activities could scale. For successful scaling, financial and human resources should be set aside or explicitly accessible.

  • Adaptation activities can achieve scale in a variety of ways. While there are clear indicators of good adaptation practice, the successful scaling of a project can be achieved in a variety of ways depending upon factors such as resources, local context, knowledge management, partnerships and networks. When designing scaling strategies, various pathways, actors and conditions need to be identified and addressed to maximize its success and minimize future challenges of scaling adaptation activities.

Case Study Findings

  • Coordination and knowledge sharing among actors is key. Scaling requires multiple actors across various landscapes to coordinate together to scale adaptation activities. Sharing lessons learned is the most important enabling condition in scaling.

  • Community participation and ownership is critical for successful scaling. Communities should be engaged throughout the design, implementation, and reporting of results of an adaptation tracking system to ensure that their view of success is integrated into scaling beneficial adaptation practices.

  • Horizontal and vertical scaling pathways can and should be mutually supportive. Successful horizontal scaling often provides a good platform for vertical scaling.

Executive Summary

As climate change threatens India’s food security, adaptation in the agriculture sector is becoming increasingly important. However, for too long, adaptation has been characterized by individual efforts and by small, time-bound pilot projects. Although these projects often have a strong grassroots focus, their capacity to benefit larger populations and to contribute to policy reform is limited (Reid and Huq, 2014).

In India, scaling adaptation is of particular importance in rainfed agricultural areas, where crops depend on monsoon rains. Projections indicate that, without adaptation, climate change will stress rainfed agricultural systems, with potentially significant decreases in yield and a loss in farm-level net revenue of between 9 percent and 25 percent in the South Asia region (Manava and Robert, 2011).

This report aims to accelerate scaling of adaptation in rainfed India by providing a framework to enable project implementers, funding agencies, and policy makers to identify good adaptation practice, determine what is ready to be scaled, and understand the process of scaling and the conditions necessary to support it. The authors applied the framework to twenty-one adaptation projects and conducted four deep dive case studies to assess the scaling potential of adaptation projects in rainfed regions of India.