Making the Right Choices - Prioritizing Adaptation Options

This tutorial introduces the concept of prioritizing adaptation options during adaptation planning and implementation.


SDG13: Climate action
Climate change
adaptation planning
climate change
climate change action

At the outset of any adaptation initiative, it is important to assess the implications of climate change on the natural systems (e.g. biodiversity) and the human society (e.g. human health) to determine how and to what extent they will be affected.  There are a number of measures that can be implemented to reduce risk and vulnerability.  Due to financial and human capacity constraints, not all actions can be implemented simultaneously and it is important to study the implications of all measures.  Knowledge of the implications such as costs and benefits for each adaptation option will form part of the strategic decision-making process during adaptation planning.

This tutorial will introduce the process of appraisal and prioritization and some tools that are used in the adaptation options appraisal process once adaptation options have been selected for consideration.

This tutorial was developed by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) as part of the National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP).  It is part of the support to the NAP Toolkit to the face-to-face training package.  The NAP-GSP is a joint programme, implemented by UNDP and UN Environment, in collaboration with other UN Agencies to assist countries with their NAP processes.  The programme is funded through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).

This course does not have a learning assessment therefore no certificate of completion will be issued.

Target Audience

  • Policy-makers and experts interested in increasing their knowledge on the appraisal and prioritization phase of adaptation planning.
  • The engaged public and practitioners interested in having a basic understanding the tools and methods used in appraisal and prioritization of adaptation options.
  • Policy-makers and experts attending the NAP-GSP face-to-face regional training on “Appraisal and prioritization of adaptation options”.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to:

  • Outline the key elements in the adaptation process;
  • List at least three approaches used in the appraisal and prioritization of adaptation options and give at least one strength and one weakness for each;
  • Carry out a simple prioritization process using benefit-cost-ratio.