Reducing Climate Risk

Adaptation and vulnerability


Adaptation to climate change is a major focus of SEI’s work: from policy and finance, to vulnerability assessments, to capacity-building.

SEI has particularly engaged in the discussion of adaptation finance under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It has also been a leader in developing methods and tools for assessing climate change vulnerability and impacts, for planning adaptation, and for sharing relevant knowledge.

Another aspect of SEI’s work addresses community-based and local adaptation, to understand the drivers of adaptive capacity, including how national and global development processes strengthen or weaken adaptive capacity at the local level, and increase or reduce vulnerability to climate risks.

By working across international and local levels, we aim to ensure that policy debates are in harmony with local-level realities, and to match local-level needs with larger-scale funding processes.

SEI’s work on adaptation falls roughly into three categories:

• Thematic research on adaptation and vulnerability: This includes analysis of physical, political, institutional, socio-economic and cultural drivers of vulnerability and adaptive capacity; policy analysis (on adaptation finance, conflicting measures of vulnerability, transparency and accountability, and governance of adaptation); development of guidance on adaptation planning (e.g. through PROVIA); and economic studies.

• Technical support on adaptation: Contributions to specific adaptation planning efforts, from the international to the local level. Work includes scoping studies of policies, institutions, practices and/or research and knowledge gaps; climate/adaptation and disaster risk reduction policy guidance and policy development for governments; vulnerability assessments; and sectoral planning (e.g. using SEI’s WEAP water resource planning system to evaluate options under different climate, economic, agricultural and energy scenarios).

• Capacity-building, including the development of tools and methods for adaptation planning and vulnerability assessment: This includes the online knowledge-sharing platform weADAPT and related outreach and collaborations; the Asia Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform; a series of ‘writeshops’ for developing-world researchers and practitioners, and extensive outreach and capacity-building in South and Southeast Asia.

Click on the menus to the right to access related publications, news, projects and contact persons.


Download a synthesis of SEI research on these issues »