Countries Learn from One Another about the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning of Adaptation 

Representatives from seven African countries explored key challenges in establishing MEL systems and emerging solutions.

Participants of the Peer Learning Event on Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning in Gaborone, Botswana
Participants of the peer learning event on the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) of NAP processes.

Organized on August 21, on the margins of the UNFCCC’s NAP Expo 2022, the NAP Global Network gathered government representatives from seven countries for a 5-hour peer learning event on the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes. Participants from Botswana, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Somalia explored key challenges in establishing MEL systems and emerging solutions. Although unable to participate in person, Zambia shared their perspectives and experiences in a video. 

“African countries are extremely vulnerable to climate change,” said Anne Hammill, Senior Director for the NAP Global Network Secretariat. “As they begin implementing their National Adaptation Plans, there’s strong demand to better understand how to track these adaptation processes and evaluate their progress in building resilience to climate change.” 

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning for Adaptation 

As NAP processes advance around the world, countries and their development partners are increasingly focusing on measuring and learning from the adaptation planning process and its outcomes. By designing and implementing MEL systems as part of the NAP process, countries can strengthen their accountability, provide reliable reporting of climate adaptation interventions, and gain insights into what is and isn’t working so they can adjust adaptation plans accordingly. 

These inputs will also be crucial to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement among other global commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. MEL systems are an asset in meeting reporting requirements at the national and international levels. 

Peer Learning Event in Botswana 

After opening remarks were provided by Ms. Kelebaone Maselesele, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Botswana, a brief presentation on the aim, design techniques, and global trends in MEL approaches for NAP processes was provided by the NAP Global Network Secretariat. Kenya and Rwanda then shared their experiences with MEL systems to create an enabling environment for an open discussion on common MEL challenges and solutions. 

This was followed by a presentation on the differences between measuring the process of adaptation, such as its structures, projects, and committees, vs measuring adaptation outcomes, which should include a decrease in climate risks and vulnerabilities. This differentiation is often seen as a long-standing challenge and conversation topic in NAP processes. 

The event ended with an activity in which a representative from Namibia shared a challenge they are encountering as they think through the design of their NAP’s MEL system. The rest of the participants then asked questions to further dissect the issue and brainstormed possible solutions. This started a debate about the circumstances in which creating a standalone MEL system for the NAP would serve the process better than integrating MEL of adaptation into existing national development tracking systems. This activity proved to be very effective in encouraging participants to engage with a problem. 

“Monitoring, evaluation, and learning for climate change adaptation planning and actions is a complex topic,” said Alec Crawford, Director, Nature for Resilience, NAP Global Network Secretariat. “We accomplished a lot at this peer learning event, and yet still only scratched the surface.”  

Overall, this peer learning event demonstrated the want and need for more in-person opportunities for countries to learn from one another about NAP processes. 

The NAP Global Network aims to facilitate sustained peer learning and exchange on the challenges and opportunities associated with national adaptation planning and action. Sign up to participate in the Network to take part in these peer learning opportunities. More about our work on the MEL of national adaptation is available on our MEL theme page.