Improving Climate Change Development Programs.

Adaptation Thought Leadership and Assessments (ATLAS)

Project Dates: September 2014 - March 2020
Development programs worldwide are designed to protect vulnerable people, places, and livelihoods from climate change, but with smarter methods, these programs could be even more effective.

Development programs worldwide are designed to protect vulnerable people, places, and livelihoods. By assessing the risks posed by climate change and identifying responses to minimize impacts from these risks, development programs can be even more effective.

Around the world, many countries are experiencing more unpredictable droughts and floods, stronger and more frequent storms, extreme heat, and rising sea levels. To manage these risks, USAID and implementing partners need access to relevant information and analysis. The USAID-funded Adaptation Thought Leadership and Assessments (ATLAS) project works with the agency and their partners around the world to test approaches and develop good practices for climate-resilient programming. The project goes beyond general climate vulnerability assessments to develop specialized decision-making tools and guidance needed to support effective adaptation and improved resilience across USAID development programs.

Project Goals


ATLAS works with USAID regional and functional bureaus in Washington, D.C. and missions around the world to test approaches to assessing climate change risk and adaptation response, provide thought leadership on key adaptation issues, and develop the capacity of USAID staff and country partners to put research and analysis into practice. Specific products and services include:

  • Climate-related assessments to inform decision-making specific to the USAID program cycle
  • Guidance and templates on methods for tailored vulnerability assessments and good practices on adaptation responses for resilience outcomes
  • Thought leadership papers synthesizing adaptation research and programming needs of USAID, partners, and the adaptation community
  • Expert and practitioner workshops to exchange adaptation approaches and experiences
  • Applied research and communications support for USAID missions to promote adaptation approaches and good practices among partners

For more information, including technical resources by sector and geographic region, visit the ATLAS project page on Climatelinks.org.

Our Impact The Cost of Not Adapting

A recent assessment of the economic impact of climate change in Indonesia highlighted the major environmental, economic, and health challenges that the country will face from now to 2050.

Development programs worldwide are designed to protect vulnerable people, places, and livelihoods from climate change, but with smarter methods, these programs could be even more effective.

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