CRD Framework

Climate-Resilient Development: A Framework for Understanding and Addressing Climate Change
March 2014
Report description: This report describes the Climate-resilient Development Framework, a “development-first” approach to climate change adaptation. The framework recommends practitioners use climate analyses to complement those normally undertaken in the course of development planning; this helps ensure that current and future climate variability does not hinder progress on existing development goals. The intended audience for this report includes development and adaptation practitioners; city planners; resource managers; and other decision-makers in national, regional, and local governments. 
Users can apply the climate-resilient development framework’s systematic, five-stage process to explicitly consider climate stressors as part of their development planning and decision-making processes. The framework complements and supplements the conventional development process, by assisting development practitioners in identifying, evaluating, selecting, implementing, and adjusting actions to reduce climate vulnerabilities and improve development outcomes.

The CRD Framework discusses the rationale behind climate-resilient development and describes the five stages of the framework. Other key content includes: an adaptation-focused glossary, a compilation of resources for scoping actions, a list of potential assessment criteria for adaptation options, examples of relevant project work from Jamaica and the Philippines, and a guide to sector-specific direct and indirect climate impacts.

CRD Framework background and uses: The climate-resilient development framework updated an earlier USAID guidance, Adapting to Climate Variability and Change: A Guidance Manual for Development Planning, and incorporated lessons learned from case studies and stakeholder feedback. The team then applied the framework in several USAID partner countries, including Jamaica and the Philippines.

The framework is designed to be applicable across a wide range of sectors, geographic scales, and jurisdictional levels. The intended audience for the Framework report includes development practitioners, adaptation practitioners, planners, resource managers, and other decision-makers in national, regional, and local government agencies.

Figure 1, USAID's Climate-resilient Development Framework, (at right) illustrates the five stages of the climate-resilient development framework. During the first stage, Scope, users first identify the development outcomes that a country, community, or USAID mission hopes to achieve, and then assess how climate change could hinder the achievement of these goals. This approach helps users perform information-gathering and analysis efficiently, guided by the need to understand threats to key development goals rather than necessitating an exhaustive analysis of all climate exposure considerations for the country at the outset of the process.

The remaining four stages cover assessing vulnerabilities; identifying, evaluating, and selecting adaptation options; implementing and managing adaptation actions; and evaluating and adjusting performance and impacts. The Framework report offers explicit step-by-step directions and practical examples for implementing each stage of the climate-resilient development framework to advance climate-resilient development.

USAID also produced several companion annexes that provide more detailed information, case studies, and guidance on specific issues and sectors. The annexes include the following topics:

  •  Conducting climate change vulnerability assessments
  • Applying the framework to climate change and water issues
  • Applying the framework to climate change and coastal zone issues
  • Governing for resilience
  • Working with marginal populations
  • Applying the framework to climate change and conflict issues