Climate change impacts exacerbate the development challenges we work to address across virtually all sectors. From health (shifting patterns of infection and disrupted medical supply chains), to women’s empowerment (heightened incidence of gender-based violence during droughts and natural disaster events), to critical economic infrastructure (vulnerability of energy grids, roads, and bridges).
Abt is enriching and advancing USAID’s Climate Risk Management policy to show the value—in monetary and human terms—of protecting those most vulnerable to climate change impacts. USAID will have a rich repository of models and evidence to consult as it builds CRM considerations into future programs.
With more than USD$160 billion spent on development programming worldwide, donors want solutions to systematically incorporate increased climate risk and vulnerability and protect them from lost investments. Since 2016, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has mandated integration of climate risk management (CRM) into all its development programming. Although many USAID programs are actively practicing CRM, few are taking a systematic approach to quantifying and monetizing the benefits of CRM actions.
Enter USAID’s Climate Integration Support Facility (CISF), through which Abt is building USAID’s knowledge of how implementers are using CRM in practice. In collaboration with USAID missions, implementing partners, and the people targeted by programs, we apply a CRM lens to USAID programs across sectors and geographies to document actions and monetize benefits. Our results are case studies and blogs that show USAID and other donors exactly how integrating climate risk management into program design and implementation protects investments—with a dollar value attached.
In Kosovo, Abt evaluated a suite of CRM approaches taken by a five-year USAID agricultural growth program to decrease water use per unit area and protect crops from the impacts of more frequent storms and extreme temperatures. We found CRM approaches like early warning systems, efficient irrigation systems, and crop protection measures increased yields of fruits and vegetables by 50-300 percent, with higher values ranging from $1,300-$61,000 per hectare. These approaches also reduced irrigation water demand by up to 4,000 cubic meters per hectare and avoided crop losses of up to 80 percent.
Other case studies are underway. Abt will examine and quantify the benefits of CRM actions taken by a USAID family planning and maternal health program in the Philippines to overcome the effects of climate disasters that disrupt delivery of health services in rural areas. In Haiti, Abt will evaluate the effectiveness and payoffs of four main CRM actions taken by a USAID water and sanitation project to target high-risk areas, screen activities, and build climate considerations in infrastructure design and construction while training stakeholders to manage impacts.