Project Level Indicators

Monitoring portfolio and project effectiveness is achieved through the tracking of indicators. Four types of indicators are used to measure the success of project.

  • Coverage: the extent to which projects reach vulnerable stakeholders (individuals, households, businesses, government agencies, policymakers, etc.)
  • Impact: the extent to which projects reduce vulnerability and/or enhance adaptive capacity (through bringing about changes in adaptation processes: policymaking/planning, capacity building/awareness raising, information management, etc.)
  • Sustainability: the ability of stakeholders to continue the adaptation processes beyond project lifetimes, thereby sustaining development benefits
  • Replicability: the extent to which projects generate and disseminate results and lessons of value in other, comparable contexts


As mentioned previously, monitoring at the project level is based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative indicators. Quantitative indicators are based on the direct measurement of progress on key development indicators. Qualitative indicators are used to capture the perceptions of stakeholders, for example regarding the efficacy of project interventions on conditions of vulnerability to climatic stressors. These indicators are based on data gathered using questionnaire-based surveys (QBS), which allow subjective perspectives to be conveyed as scores.


Opportunities also arises to assess project performance in relation to the occurrence of climate-related hazards such as extreme events. For example, a project implements measures to enhance the resilience of coastal settlements to increasing storm surge and flood risk through improved construction standards. The occurrence of a storm or flood could represent an opportunity for a project to assess the effectiveness of measures implemented. Were losses or damages from this event lower than those associated with previous, similar events? If so, can these lower losses be attributed convincingly to project activities? In this hypothetical example, supplemental indicators include the value of property damage, the amount of beach erosion, and so on, in relation to historic figures from similar events or anticipated baselines, and is accompanied by narrative descriptions attributing such outcomes to the project.

Output Indicators

Output Indicators are used to track the progress of the various project activities, and vary widely in nature depending on the type of project outputs. Qualitative output indicators are used in assessing activities such as the development of adaptation strategies and policies, awareness-raising, and capacity building. Quantitative indicators are used to assess discrete adaptation activities such as the introduction of new crops and technologies. Such indicators might assess the number of households with access to such innovations, or the percentage of existing systems upgraded to increase capacity to cope with new climatic conditions. Output indicators are highly specific to project contexts, and project developers formulate their own outputs and associated indicators appropriate to the context and purpose of a project.