Locally led adaptation

Strengthening communities

Locally led adaptation is an approach that empowers front-line communities to advance their own solutions through equitable climate finance.

The IFRC and the Climate Centre have developed the seven-stage climate action journey (with French, Spanish and Arabic summaries) with locally led adaptation as a central goal, providing an innovative framework for National Societies to create climate solutions through community wisdom, lived experience and climate science.

Locally led adaptation empowers National Societies to drive community-level action while supporting the implementation of programmes and projects at scale. The IFRC has published a short brief on the concept with further guidance due later in 2024.

To foster locally led adaptation at the community level, the climate action journey starts internally by integrating climate risks within a National Society’s existing humanitarian programmes, operations and strategies.

In 2023, a guide to climate smart programmes and humanitarian operations was developed by the IFRC and the Climate Centre to support National Societies in the process to make our work across sectors risk-informed and climate smart – this constituted the journey’s first three stages.

A new brief, including the remaining four, explains how to apply the best available climate and weather information, ensuring humanitarian interventions contribute to national adaptation agendas and do not expose people to additional climate risks.

Community resilience is internationally recognized as a means to achieve local adaptation to changing climate risks. In 2023, the Climate Centre became a part of Pathways2Resilience, which supports 150 regions and communities in Europe to scale up transformative solutions to foster their climate adaptation solutions.

The Climate Centre was a founding member of the Partners for Resilience alliance from 2010 to 2020, promoting an integrated approach combining solutions to rising disaster risk, climate change and environmental degradation.

And in 2014 the Climate Centre was responsible for knowledge management in the BRACED alliance, which aimed to increase community resilience to climate extremes in South and South-East Asia and the Sahel.

Resources developed through these initiatives and are now available to National Societies, and the Climate Centre also offers training resources through our updated Climate Training Kit, which is compiled thematically with topics such as community resilience, early warning early action, and water, sanitation and hygiene.

Key links
Climate action journey

Climate action journey

The IFRC has now outlined the full seven-step climate action journey – summarized in English, French, Spanish and Arabic – that has been trialled by the National Societies of Malawi (blog and story map), Nigeria and Pakistan (photo) and encompasses climate-smart operations and, the end goal, locally led adaptation.

The first three steps were published in 2023 in A guide to climate-smart programmes (also in summary form); the last four – climate strategy, engagement with communities, locally-led adaptation, and implementation – are detailed now in a new brief, The importance of scaling up locally led adaptation, to be expanded later in 2024.

Follow the journey

Partners for Resilience (PfR)

The Climate Centre was an active member of the Partners for Resilience (PfR) alliance from 2011, comprising more than 50 organizations active in 11 countries.

The partners spurred action on climate around the world and brought excellent examples on adaptation for and by the Red Cross Red Crescent.

PfR has created an online library with many further tools and case studies of (alphabetically) Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Nicaragua, the Philippines (photo), South Sudan and Uganda. Its flagship report was published in 2020, the year of a multimedia exhibition graphically illustrating both climate impacts in the developing world and potential solutions offered by PfR.


The Climate centre is a science partners in a new (July 2023) international collaboration aimed at improving early warning and enhancing resilience to tropical cyclones in Madagascar, Malawi, and (photo) Mozambique.

The project, Resilience and preparedness for tropical cyclones across Southern Africa (REPRESA), is the first of a series in a joint UK- and Canadian-supported research programme on climate adaptation and resilience known as CLARE.

It will be led jointly by the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique, and the University of Bristol in the UK.


Climate Training Kit

The Climate Training Kit has been entirely renewed, aiming to support our Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and their partners to deliver inclusive adaptation on the ground. Information on technical aspects of climate risk management, climate-related policy dialogues, finance and much more are available in this kit.

The IFRC and the Climate Centre are grateful for the support of the Canadian Red Cross and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Partners for Resilience that enabled the development of two editions of the Climate Training Kit.

The kit
Climate Training Kit

Pass the (PfR) baton

An online conference marking the end of the second and final phase of the Netherlands-supported Partners for Resilience programme included a specially made video, Pass the baton, covering much of the work of its Netherlands-based agencies: CARE Nederland, the Climate Centre, Cordaid, the NLRC and Wetlands International, and their many local implementing partners.

‘A vision not a project’