Is African agriculture adapting to climate change fast enough?

Tracking progress in 53 African countries through their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) 

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  • World Bank Group 
  • Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA)


Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) works to make climate information services and climate-smart agriculture more accessible to millions of smallholder farmers across Africa. It is supported by a grant from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank. 

AICCRA partners with Africa-based and global partners to improve the tracking of progress on adaptation investments and policies.

The Paris Agreement established the ambition for a Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and a mechanism for countries to periodically report progress towards the goal, through the Global Stocktake (GST).

However, no standard reporting system for adaptation has been developed, leaving countries with little guidance on what or how to report.

Available methods and frameworks have several limitations. They focus on select stages of the adaptation cycle, counting actions, finance, or establishing the “perfect indicator”.

They overlook national adaptation priorities and ongoing monitoring efforts, which could lead to data burden for countries.

In addition, most frameworks are untested, raising questions about their practicality across diverse contexts.

AICCRA has developed compelling analysis of how adaptation tracking is organized and operationalized in national contexts across Africa.

Through a collaboration with several partners, AICCRA systematically assessed Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) of 53 African countries.

Results of this research indicate that:

  • Adaptation tracking is a slow work in progress across the continent.
  • Most NDCs and NAPs assess vulnerabilities to climate change, set high-level goals and objectives for adaptation, and formulate actions to respond to risks; but there is limited evidence of quantified, time-bound targets against which to assess progress.
  • Few countries set indicators for measuring adaptation in agriculture sectors, most of which focus on tracking activity implementation and immediate results.
  • Evidence of existing data systems for adaptation is weak, yet most countries report plans to develop national adaptation M&E as part of ongoing NAP processes or NDC revisions.

While there is no perfect case study where adaptation tracking is fully operational, existing experiences offer valuable learnings.

Science will be critical in accelerating progress, by informing the development and validation of robust adaptation theories of change, metrics, and data systems.

Now is the time to inform this important policy space, including upcoming updates to the World Bank's 'Paris Alignment'. 


This virtual discussion investigated the goals, objectives, targets, and actions set by African governments to adapt to climate change, and discern indicators and data systems for tracking progress towards desired adaptation results in Africa.

The findings illustrate the feasibility of a bottom-up, country driven approach to the Global Stocktake.

The ultimate aim is to support African countries efforts to enhance adaptation tracking at national level, for more effective resource mobilization and implementation.



Chakib Jenane, Practice Manager, West and Central Africa, Agriculture and Food, World Bank


Ana Maria Loboguerrero, Director, AICCRA


Andreea Nowak, Alliance Bioversity-CIAT


  • Arame Tall, Senior Climate Specialist - Adaptation and Resilience, World Bank
  • Katie Kennedy Freeman, Senior Agriculture Economist, World Bank (AICCRA Task Team Leader)
  • Ioannis Vasileiou, Senior Agriculture Specialist, Paris Alignment AGF Focal Point, World Bank