Skip to content


In November 2020, freelance journalists, Jesper Heldgaard og Bo Illum Jørgensen, travelled to Kenya to produce a number of films on the evaluation of Danish support for climate change adaptation.

Danish support to climate change adaptation has made a difference. But more impact can be achieved through a stronger and more consistent focus and dedicated manpower resources, a new evaluation concludes.

Climate change adaptation comes in many shapes

What is climate change adaptation actually? Examples from Kenya illustrate that it can be vocational training, improved water services, weather forecasts and rangeland management. In short, whatever builds climate resilience of communities and nature.


A recipe for stronger Danida impact
Fluctuating Danish polity priorities. Limited guidance and knowledge. Patchy mainstreaming. These are issues to be addressed for Danish support to climate change adaptation to have more impact, a new evaluation concludes.


The 4 countries included in the evaluation 
The evaluation team leader highlights characteristics of the 4 countries included in the evaluation and the Danish support to them.



The pros and cons of different aid modalities
What are the advantages of bilateral support? And the disadvantages. And what about multilateral support, support through NGOs, or the so-called Climate Envelope. The evaluation team leader shares some of the findings.


Thumbs up from Kenya

While the evaluation team has reservations on Danida’s general performance when it comes to climate change adaptation, several Danida-partners in Kenya praise the partnership they have had with Danida.

Mary Stella Muthoni checks her mobile before planting.
Improved weather forecasts can make farmers more resilient to climate change, the Adaptation Learning Programme implemented by CARE discovered. 

Learnings from the Learning Programme

The head of the ambitious Adaptation Learning Programme shares some of the learnings for governments, donors and NGOs of the programme.


Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP)
The Adaptation Learning Programme was launched in 2010 by CARE International and implemented 2010-2015 in Ghana, Niger, Mozambique, and Kenya, in partnership with local civil society and government institutions. The aim was to identify successful approaches to Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) through working directly with vulnerable communities as well as learning with other organisations practicing CBA and supporting incorporation of these approaches into development policies and programmes in the four countries and their regions in Africa. An extension of ALP 2015-2017 was agreed to scale up the good practices learned from ALP.

ALP was supported by several donors including Danida. Danish support to ALP 2010-2015 came through the Climate Envelope and amounted to DKK 15 million. In the period 2015-2017 Denmark supported ALP through Civil Society in Development (CISU) to the tune of DKK 5 million.

Green transformation through local empowerment - The community-based organization, Kwiminia, is the reason why the impact of a grant in 2012 from the Danida-funded Community Development Trust Fund lives on in villages in Makueni County.

Lasting impact requires capacity-building
Capacity-building needs to be built into every project because it enhances sustainability. That is one of the lessons learnt from the Community Development Trust Fund.


Community Development Trust Fund/Community Environment Facility (CDTF/CEF):
The Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF) was established in 1996 with EU-funding to provide support to community-based projects on sustainable natural resource management. The Government of Kenya closed CDTF in 2013, when the responsibility for community development was devolved to the counties.
CDTF managed the Community Environment Facility, where NGOs/CSOs could apply for financing for community-driven initiatives to reduce threats and conflicts related to natural resource use, contribute to poverty reduction, and promote sustainable environmental management.

Danish support to CDTF/CEF amounted to DKK 30 million from 2010-2014 and came through the Danish Natural Resource Management Programme and the Climate Envelope. 

The challenge of turning policies into practice

Danish support to Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority illustrates that it takes a special effort to translate good policies into practice on the ground.


National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) 
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is a Semi-Autonomous Government Agency under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and is the Government’s principal instrument in implementation of all environmental policies in Kenya.

NEMA is a long-time partner of Danida. Since 2016 Danish support has come through The Green Growth and Employment Programme (GGEP 2016-2020), a Denmark-Kenya Government-to-Government-partnership whose objective is “to contribute to an inclusive green growth and employment in Kenya.”  

Danish support to NEMA amounts to DKK 62.4 million, which came through the Danish Natural Resource Management Programme and the Green Growth Programme. 

Building climate reliance of nature and people
The Northern Rangelands seeks to combine wildlife conservation with improved livelihoods for local pastoralists (to build climate resilience of both nature and people).


The herd boy turned bricklayer.

Vocational training offers an alternative livelihood to pastoral life, which is threatened by climate change.


No forest, no water

The conservation of Ngare Ndare Forest in Kenya illustrates that more focus on healthy eco-systems (in climate change adaptation) can enhance climate resilience of both nature and people.


Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) 
Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) is a member-based umbrella organisation for community conservancies established in 2004 in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Northern Kenya (ASALs). NRT supports communities to govern their wild spaces, identify and lead development projects, build sustainable economies linked to conservation, spearhead peace efforts to mend years of conflict, and shape government regulations to support it all. In 2019, NRT had 39 members covering 42,000 km2 and 404,500 people from 18 ethnic groups.

Danish support to NRT: Denmark har supported NRT since 2012. Danish support to NRT from 2012 to 2020 amounts to DKK 64.8million and came through the Climate Envelope.  

Giving Teeth to Kenya’s Climate Strategy.
Danish support to a new Climate Change Unit within the Prime Minister’s Office helped drive the political agenda of climate change in Kenya.


Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)
The Climate Change Unit at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) was established in 2008 to coordinate and supervise Government ministries in the areas of environment in general and climate change in particular. The unit was abolished in 2013 when the position of Prime Minister in Kenya was abolished.

Danish support amounted to DKK 24 million 2010-2013 and came through the Danish Natural Resource Management Programme.

Improved access to water has built climate resilience.

In a dry area of Kenya, a water project has reduced conflicts over scarce water resources and paved the way for/opened new livelihoods to supplement the traditional livestock-keeping.


Bringing water to the neediest

With Danish support Kenya’s Water Sector Trust Fund has brought improved water services to dry areas of Kenya. But the fund still has work to do, to make water services more resilient to climate change.

Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF)
The Water Sector Trust Fund (WaterFund) is a Kenyan State Corporation under the Ministry of Water & Sanitation and Irrigation. It was established in 2002 (as the Water Services Trust Fund) to provide grants to counties and to assist in financing the development of and management of water and sanitation services in the marginalised and underserved areas of Kenya. Denmark has supported WSTF since 2004 under the Kenya Water Sector Programme which ran between 2004-2009 and later the Medium Term ASALs Programme (MTAP) 2011-2017. Additional support since 2016 came through the Danish Programme on Green Growth and Development. Danish support to WSTF since 2004 amounts to DKK 356 million out of which DKK 40 million is for supporting refugees’ and host communities’ resilience.

An early ground-breaking project with transformative impact
A Danida-supported ActionAid Programme initiated in 2008 in Bangladesh illustrates, that you need to engage the community to achieve transformation – also when it comes to climate change adaptation.

Climate Resilience Can Be Increased Through Governance Reform
A Danida-supported local governance project has improved resilience to climate change in rural areas.