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Action on Climate Today: climate-proofing growth and development in South Asia

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Ajith Radhakrishnan Allan Duncan Ed Humphrey Elisabeth Resch Elizabeth Gogoi Harshita Bisht Jenny Congrave Jesse McConnell Kandi Shejavali Marcela Tarazona Nils Riemenschneider Rishav Kumar Thakur Shweta Bahri ACT

One of the most populated regions in the world, south Asia is also home to some of the world’s poorest communities – those likely to be hardest hit by the impacts of a changing climate. We are leading DFID’s multi-year Climate Proofing Growth and Development (ACT / CPGD) programme across five countries in the region – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. The programme aims to improve resilience by directly incorporating climate change considerations into policy, planning, and investment environments within each country. We are working with national implementing partners, providing support across the policy cycle from research and capacity building to monitoring and evaluation. Adopting an applied political economy approach, we will identify and leverage opportunities for reform, focusing on interventions that can be adapted to national contexts whilst being scalable across the region as a whole.

Challenges

Governments across the world are recognising the need to shift towards policies that support sustainable economic growth within the context of a changing climate. To be successful, these policies need to mainstream social and environmental issues, recognising ‘green’ initiatives as drivers of growth in their own right whilst building resilience against the potential impacts of climate-related shocks and disasters.

DFID’s Climate Proofing Growth and Development (ACT / CPGD) Programme aims to support the governments of five countries to integrate climate change into development planning, budgeting, and policy delivery at national and sub-national levels over the next five years.

The success of the programme will depend in a large part on the ability to engage local and national stakeholders, leverage public and private funds, and develop innovative technical solutions tailored to the specific needs of the focus countries as well as the region as a whole.

Our approach

We are leading a consortium of expert national and international partners to deliver the implementation of the ACT/CPGD Programme – providing support to five national and ten sub-national governments across the South Asia region.

Our team is working across the policy cycle – from designing and developing interventions and building the capacity of national and regional stakeholders to monitoring and evaluating the performance of different initiatives. By drawing on the specialist expertise and knowledge of our local implementing partners, backed by a fully-resourced regional hub, we are able to respond to opportunities as they occur, quickly adapting our interventions in order to increase their impact within different contexts.

We are carrying out the following activities:

  • Conducting ongoing political economy assessments (PEA) within the five focus countries
  • Completing benchmarking activities, public expenditure assessments, and impact evaluations to strengthen the evidence base around existing and new initiatives
  • Providing technical assistance and building capacity to support reform of planning and budgetary systems, processes, and institutions
  • Developing, piloting, and monitoring policy instruments that support the introduction of low carbon and climate resilience measures
  • Developing and implementing innovative mechanisms to leverage private and public finance
  • Developing communications plans and dissemination strategies to promote knowledge-sharing and lesson-learning

Outcomes

Over its lifetime, this project will help ensure that the risks and opportunities associated with climate change are fully integrated into policies, budgets, and investments within the South Asia region.

By strengthening government capacity and supporting the alignment of resources with outputs, we are helping transform budgetary processes to account for climate change resilience measures - whilst promoting a favourable environment for public and private investments. By providing baseline data on different initiatives the project is also establishing an evidence-base for more informed decision making around low carbon policies.

By mainstreaming climate change considerations in this way, the project will improve the efficiency and effectiveness for governments who would otherwise face significant costs trying to manage potential impacts separately and retroactively.

Over the longer-term, as the policies developed under the ACT/CPGD Programme translate into action on the ground, those most at risk should become better equipped to deal with the impacts of climate-related shocks and natural disasters.