Locally Led Adaptation

People and communities on the frontlines of climate change are often the most active and innovative in developing adaptation solutions. Yet, too often, they lack access to the resources and agency needed to implement them effectively. Locally Led Adaptation (LLA) can unlock, support and leverage the enormous potential and creativity of communities to develop and implement solutions. Shifting power to local stakeholders, without expecting them to shoulder the burden of adaptation, can catalyze adaptation that is effective, equitable, and transparent.

GCA’s Global Hub on LLA, located in the South Asia Regional Office in Dhaka, aims to empower local governments and communities through the provision of additional resources and capacity; and to scale up LLA best practices by influencing adaptation and development investments.

Contact Information

For more information on this program, or to get involved, please contact:

Anju Sharma

Lead, Locally Led Adaptation

Call for Stories on Locally Led Adaptation

Principles for Locally Led Adaptation

The eight LLA Principles were developed by the Global Commission on Adaptation and launched at the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit, to guide efforts to promote LLA.

  • Devolving decision making to the lowest appropriate level: Giving local institutions and communities more direct access to finance and decision-making power over how adaptation actions are defined, prioritized, designed, implemented; how progress is monitored; and how success is evaluated.
  • Addressing structural inequalities faced by women, youth, children, disabled, displaced, Indigenous Peoples and marginalised ethnic groups: Integrating gender-based, economic, and political inequalities that are root causes of vulnerability into the core of adaptation action and encouraging vulnerable and marginalized individuals to meaningfully participate in and lead adaptation decisions.
  • Providing patient and predictable funding that can be accessed more easily: Supporting long-term development of local governance processes, capacity, and institutions through simpler access modalities and longer term and more predictable funding horizons, to ensure that communities can effectively implement adaptation actions.
  • Investing in local capabilities to leave an institutional legacy: Improving the capabilities of local institutions to ensure they can understand climate risks and uncertainties, generate solutions, and facilitate and manage adaptation initiatives over the long term without being dependent on project based donor funding.
  • Building a robust understanding of climate risk and uncertainty: Informing adaptation decisions through a combination of local, traditional, Indigenous, generational and scientific knowledge that can enable resilience under a range of future climate scenarios.
  • Flexible programming and learning: Enabling adaptive management to address the inherent uncertainty in adaptation, especially through robust monitoring and learning systems, flexible finance, and flexible programming.
  • Ensuring transparency and accountability: Making processes of financing, designing, and delivering programs more transparent and accountable downward to local stakeholders.
  • Collaborative action and investment: Collaboration across sectors, initiatives and levels to ensure that different initiatives and different sources of funding (humanitarian assistance, development, disaster risk reduction, green recovery funds, etc.) support each other, and their activities avoid duplication, to enhance efficiencies and good practice.

Global Hub on Locally Led Adaptation

The online platform of the Global Hub on Locally Led Adaptation (LLA) aims to inform, connect and inspire local communities and practitioners around the world with the latest knowledge and solutions for LLA.

Locally Led Adaptation for Pro-poor Infrastructure

GCA’s Global Program on Locally Led Adaptation was developed to address the need for people-centric, climate-smart development that gives lower-income and vulnerable communities, including women, a voice in adaptation investment planning and implementation. A bottom-up approach to investing in public services, nature-based solutions, and infrastructure in urban areas – including affordable housing, resilient transport connectivity, and water and waste management – will help cities become more resilient. While other local organizations are often best suited to support these bottom-up approaches, these stakeholders often cannot access finance at a scale that is required. GCA’s Global Hub on LLA bridges this gap by facilitating the preparation of locally led ‘People’s Plans’ for adaptation and consolidating these plans into investment projects of International Finance Institutions.
The LLA Program is already supporting the delivery of urban climate adaptation solutions, which include a significant community engagement component, in Monrovia (Liberia) and Dakar (Senegal).

GCA Local Adaptation Champions Awards

The GCA Local Adaptation Champions Awards spotlight and reward innovative, exemplary, inspiring, and scalable locally led efforts that address the impacts of climate change and build effective climate resilience among the most vulnerable communities, sections of society, and individuals who are at the frontlines of the greatest existential threat faced by humankind.

Photo Credit: UN Climate Change/Kiara Worth

Training and Mentoring for Journalists and Digital Content Creators

These training and mentoring courses help journalists and digital content makers support adaptation action in the battle against the impacts of climate change.

Training and mentoring for journalists

Training and mentoring for digital content makers

Locally Led Planning: A Guide for Building Climate Resilience in Urban Informal Settlements

This Guide provides resources for locally-led, inclusive, multisectoral upgrading for climate resilience in urban informal settlements. Designed as a guide not a toolkit, it pays particular attention to context and its variation across cities and countries.

Call for Stories on Locally Led Adaptation

Through this call, we are looking to identify and collaboratively develop a number of stories with local partners working in Africa, Asia or Latin America, which can highlight different lessons emerging from
community-driven and locally-led interventions


Technical and Whitepapers

Locally Led Planning: A Guide for Building Climate Resilience in Urban Informal Settlements

This Guide provides resources for locally led, inclusive, multisectoral upgrading for climate resilience in urban informal settlements.

15 March 2023

Brock Hicks

Stories of Resilience: Lessons from Local Adaptation Practice

The stories in this compilation, based on the sessions of the 2022 Gobeshona Conference on Locally Led Adaptation, are an important basis for us to understand the difference between local action and locally led action, and to identify effective ways of supporting local leadership.

14 November 2022

Anju Sharma, Kiara Worth, Tasha Goldberg

Principles for Locally Led Adaptation Action

The Global Commission on Adaptation developed a set of principles, based on over a year of consultations, to strengthen locally led adaptation. As of July 2021, over 70 organizations have endorsed these principles, committing to make changes and strengthening existing efforts to meet this urgent adaptation agenda.

24 January 2021

Contact Information

For more information on this program, or to get involved, please contact:

Anju Sharma

Lead, Locally Led Adaptation

Other Programs