Climate change is a complex problem. It can affect all areas of society—from making food and water resources more scarce to causing or exacerbating conflict—which means development must integrate climate resilience across program areas. Unfortunately most development programming operates as if
climate change is not already a significant challenge—and programs often ignore potential future climate impacts. Additionally, in the rare instances where adaptation strategies are included, they are almost always treated as a standalone objective. As a result, development organizations frequently design separate programs for climate change adaptation or create isolated pillars of CCA strategies within broader programming. While these approaches can result in adaptation gains, true Climate Resilient Development (CRD) requires a higher degree of integration. Mercy Corps’ experience has shown that integration is synergistic; the more integrated a program, the more successful all development outcomes are—not just climate-specific ones.
Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) strategies are actions specifically aimed at reducing vulnerability to actual or expected changes in climate; Climate Resilient Development (CRD) is the ultimate goal of development programming that integrates climate change adaptation and behavior change strategies while improving overall well-being that can be maintained within shifting climate conditions.
Currently, resources are limited when it comes to available documentation, structure, or guidance about designing and implementing climate resilient programming from an operational standpoint. In an effort to fill that gap, this report aims to extract and briefly discuss some early operational insights from PRIME, a Mercy Corps lead program which sought to integrate climate risk considerations across programing, while also documenting some of the processes and mechanisms utilized by senior management and program staff.