CGIAR Climate Smart Governance Dashboard: turning the tables from climate-vulnerable to climate-resilient

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By Giriraj Amarnath and Martina Mascarenhas, CGIAR Research Initiative on Climate Resilience (ClimBeR)

As the climate crisis gathers momentum and puts greater pressure on low- and middle-income countries, nations must learn and adapt.

Countries must develop evidence-based, cross-sectoral adaptation plans and policies – including those required to fulfill the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – at various scales and in collaboration with diverse departments and organizations. They also need to implement projects to minimize the impacts of climate change and monitor their effectiveness so they can evaluate progress towards meeting the mitigation and adaptation plans they develop and global development goals. Finally, they must identify gaps where additional funding and effort are required.

While all this is relatively easy to point out, it is much harder to do.


Stanley Banda, Principal Scientist, Ministry of Agriculture pictured at the CSG Launch in Zambia. Photo credit: ClimBeR

Launched in Zambia in October 2023 in partnership with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment (MoGEE) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the CSG Dashboard is designed to be installed in a range of institutions – from government departments to finance organizations and humanitarian agencies. In the wake of COP28 and looking ahead to COP29, the CSG Dashboard is an effective tool that can be leveraged to help nations operationalize the adaptation actions detailed in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) through national adaptation plans (NAPs) at multiple levels, including the sub-national and national levels.

Designed with the NAP process in mind, the Dashboard enables public and private sector entities to access and use up-to-date data to develop effective and well-coordinated adaptation policies, monitor and evaluate progress towards meeting adaptation goals, collaborate for effective use of resources, and share information on best practices and investment opportunities.

So, how does this all work? When individual projects are listed, users can add information on the specific SDGs that they intend to address. This information can be used in multiple ways; for example, to guide monitoring and evaluation teams on where to undertake surveys to assess changes in SDG indicators and assess a particular country’s progress toward meeting the SDGs. This also means that not only can the dashboard be used to monitor and measure a nation’s progress but also to assess the efficacy of development projects that are on the ground, and as a result, also assess the return on investment.

Anyone who has signed up to the system can upload information about projects that they are working on, and in time ClimBeR expects to make the dashboard available more widely so that smaller entities and the public can also access and add information. Based on the information provided, projects can be viewed on a map to show where clusters of similar initiatives or gaps may exist. The Dashboard enables decision-makers to identify investments at a regional level. The availability of such information means that rather than running similar projects in the same place, incoming development funding can be used more effectively to assess the gaps and implement projects and interventions accordingly. This also enables greater efficiency in finance allocation.

“The CSG Dashboard arrives at a critical juncture. Climate change demands vast amounts of data for informed decision-making across local, national, and international scales. This tool fills a crucial gap by offering timely, context-specific, and actionable information for researchers and policymakers. It empowers evidence-based climate action and supports the implementation of national development plans and adaptation strategies,” Mr. Douty Chibamba, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, Zambia

Launch of the CSG Dashboard in Zambia. October 2023. Photo credit: ClimBeR

“CGIAR’s Climate Smart Governance Dashboard is a groundbreaking tool that enables governments and the private sector to monitor progress on climate goals, pinpoint successful adaptation and mitigation strategies, and prioritize investments for longer-term resilience building. Together, let’s make sure that we leave no one behind as we work together to build a climate-resilient future,” Giriraj Amarnath, CGIAR Research Initiative on Climate Resilience (ClimBeR) – Governance for Resilience Lead and Zambia Country Coordinator.

The CSG Dashboard is also an effective investment planning tool as it allows both policymakers and development partners to identify investments in the region and access related information such as key economic sectors and the expected impact on these sectors given climate change risks. Policymakers could use this information to assess the potential financial effects of climate change in their country and use it to attract donor investment, while donors have a more accurate assessment of the gaps and risks that the country faces, and target their investments to prioritize adaptation measures, and fills gaps where interventions are lacking or missing rather than reinvent the wheel or fund a similar project in an area with existing and multiple donors.

Climate change is a formidable adversary but is not insurmountable. The CGIAR Climate Smart Governance Dashboard (CSG Dashboard) is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to navigate this complex landscape. By embracing climate-smart governance and fostering multi-level coordination and collaboration, we can harness access to information and the collective strength and diverse perspectives of various levels of governance and partnerships to build a more resilient Sri Lanka for both current and future generations,” Ana Maria Loboguerrero, CGIAR Research Initiative on Climate Resilience (ClimBeR) Lead and Director of Climate Action, CGIAR

The dashboard is being implemented in ClimBeR’s six focus countries, including Sri Lanka – all countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change but have low levels of resilience. The dashboard has been implemented in Senegal, Zambia, and Sri Lanka so far, and complements ClimBeR’s AWARE platform which supports short-term planning through its early warning, early action, and early finance mechanisms.  While the dashboard was launched at the Sri Lanka Pavilion at COP28 in Dubai in December last year, the national launch of the CSG Dashboard for Sri Lanka will take place in Colombo on April 4th. Watch this space for updates.

Related resources:

Innovation Brief: Supporting nations to prepare for and adapt to climate hazards

Access the CSG Dashboard online here

Blog: Helping communities help themselves: early warning systems help save lives

Blog: Transforming food, land, and water systems for resilience through innovative multi-level governance and local climate action





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