Incorporate Results of the Strategy-Level Climate Risk Screening

Incorporating results is the third phase of climate risk management for strategies, after conducting the strategy-level climate risk screening.

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Climate Risk Management for Strategy Design and Implementation: Phase 3.
The third phase of climate risk management for strategies is incorporating the results of the climate risk screening. Incorporating results involves refining objectives, incorporating into the strategy, and documenting in the climate change annex. You may navigate this graphic to jump directly to the specific steps of incorporating the results of the assessment, or to jump to other phases of the CRM process.

To realize the benefits of climate risk management (CRM), design teams must incorporate screening results into strategy design. Incorporating CRM into strategy design not only ensures the sustainability, resilience and impact of USAID’s strategic development objectives, but also facilitates consideration of climate risks during project and activity design and implementation. Effectively incorporating screening results involves these three interrelated steps:

  1. Refine Development Objectives
  2. Incorporate Screening Results into the Strategy
  3. Document Screening Results in Climate Change Annex

A. Refine Development Objectives

Depending on the timing and results of the climate risk screening, design teams may need to refine strategy objectives in order to address risks or take advantage of opportunities. While many risks can be addressed through small shifts in approach or increased use of climate information, other risks may suggest larger strategic changes. Either way, these adjustments are best made before or while articulating the strategy’s theory of change and geographic focus. For example, if a strategy seeks to promote self-reliance partly through enhanced hydropower development, but the climate risk screening suggests increasingly erratic rainfall will negatively affect hydropower output, the design team might need to consider a more diversified energy portfolio.

At a minimum, the climate risk management measures identified during the screening should be explicitly incorporated in the strategy design as noted below.

B. Incorporate Screening Results into the Strategy

Design teams must incorporate the results of the climate risk screening in the strategy document. The extent of this effort will depend on the risks identified and the CRM measures adopted. In addition to reflecting the CRM measures in the theory of change and results framework, the strategy narrative should include:

  • A brief summary of the climate risk screening approach taken,
  • Consideration of the climate risks within the development context and challenges, and
  • Consideration of the climate risks in monitoring, evaluation and learning processes. This may include a brief summary of how CRM will continue through project and activity design and implementation.

In addition to the narrative summary, the climate risk assessment results table (see CRM Guidance) and a fuller description of the climate risk screening methodology must be included in the Climate Change Annex (see below). Finally, the strategy narrative should describe opportunities to strengthen climate resilience identified during the climate risk assessment process as well as to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as appropriate.

C. Document Screening Results in Climate Change Annex

According to USAID’s guidance, all country development cooperation strategies (CDCSs) must include a Climate Change Annex. This annex should include a summary of the CRM approach taken and documentation of the risks identified and how they were addressed. USAID’s guidance provides a template for the Climate Change Annex, including a mandatory table. This table includes strategy elements, climate risks, risk ratings, how risks are addressed and incorporated in the strategy design, next steps including additional analyses, and opportunities. The Climate Risk Screening and Management Tool (CRM tool) can help you produce the required table. As more and more CDCSs are revised over the next few years, more examples will be developed and, as appropriate, made available.

Documenting the screening results is particularly important at the strategy level as it helps lay the foundation for all subsequent CRM processes at the project and activity levels. In fact, one of the first steps in both of those stages is to review the strategy level analysis. This documentation also supports learning and improvement of CRM across the Agency.

At the strategy level, an assessment of the potential impacts on GHG emissions is required. The Climate Change Annex template provided in the guidance provides a draft table to be filled out and series of questions that must be addressed and documented in the Annex. Part 2 of the CRM tool can help produce the required table. The GHG emission fact sheets available for most USAID partner countries are an excellent place to find the necessary information to complete this part of the annex.