Civil society has the power to make adaptation finance more transparent and accountable. The Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative (AFAI) has developed a proven set of methods that civil society organizations can use to track the flow of adaptation funds and push their governments to direct those flows more effectively.

Key Findings

Finance commitments are not the end of the story.
The UNFCCC negotiations are likely to lead to more funding for adaptation in developing countries, but that alone is not enough. The flow of these funds must be transparent and accountable to ensure that those who are most vulnerable receive the support that they need.

Adaptation finance is convoluted, but civil society is well placed to disentangle it.
Funding for adaptation passes through numerous mechanisms and channels as it moves from the international and national level to the local level. These pathways can be highly complex and very difficult to sort out. Despite these challenges, AFAI has enabled partners in developing countries to track flows of adaptation finance and identify places where information is missing.

Information is only meaningful when governments are held accountable.
Simply uncovering and publishing information will not necessarily lead to change and improvement. Change, when initiated by CSOs, needs an enabling environment that allows for a continuous cycle of improvement, built on trust and cooperation among different partners. The report lays out an agenda for creating such an enabling environment and thereby building a more accountable adaptation finance regime.

The AFAI approach works.
AFAI has achieved on-the-ground results in its four pilot countries, empowering partner CSOs to track adaptation finance and hold their governments accountable. In the Philippines, for instance, a partner uncovered corrupt use of adaptation finance and successfully lobbied the government to create an oversight committee. Achievements such as this one are not an anomaly. CSOs, government, and finance providers can work together to replicate these successes across the globe.