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Kenya’s Monitoring and Evaluation of Adaptation: Simplified, integrated, multilevel

An aerial view of rescue efforts near destroyed houses by flooding water after a dam burst, in Solio town near Nakuru, Kenya May 10, 2018.


Monitoring and evaluation systems to track adaptation outcomes are a crucial element of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process. However, these systems are often complex to design and implement. Challenges include measuring results amid uncertainty, limited baseline information and data availability, and multiple scales of interventions, among others. Kenya is working to overcome these challenges by using a phased approach to develop and implement a doable and effective adaptation M&E system.

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Climate Change Policy Context

Kenya has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing climate change challenges. The Climate Change Act, 2016, the first legislation in Africa dedicated to climate change, sets out the legal basis for mainstreaming climate change considerations and actions into sector functions. Section 3 requires that the national and country governments, among other things, “build resilience and enhance adaptive capacity to the impacts of climate change” (Section 3.2(b), p. 183).

The National Climate Change Framework Policy (2018) promotes a low-carbon, climate-resilient pathway and aims to enhance adaptive capacity and build resilience to climate variability and change. The policy adopts a mainstreaming approach to ensure the integration of climate change considerations into planning, budgeting and implementation at all levels of government (Government of Kenya, 2018a). The National Climate Finance Policy (2018) establishes the institutional and reporting frameworks to access and manage climate finance (Government of Kenya, 2018b).

Moving Forward to Develop Kenya’s M&E System

The Government of Kenya intends to use a phased approach to develop its adaptation M&E system. The first steps will establish a simple, cost-effective M&E system, with subsequent steps allowing the system to grow in complexity and reach over time. The next steps are described below.

1. Establish governance and coordination mechanisms for adaptation M&E

The Climate Change Directorate is mandated by The Climate Change Act, 2016 to coordinate all climate change actions, including developing internal systems for the MRV+ system that includes M&E processes for adaptation. The Climate Change Directorate is supported in the coordination of adaptation issues by a multistakeholder, cross-sectoral National Adaptation Coordination Committee that also acts as the Adaptation Technical Working Group for the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) process. The committee advises on adaptation actions; provides in sector and county plans. A first step is to clarify the M&E function of the National Adaptation Coordination Committee and to ensure that interdepartmental agreements are in place to enable officials to participate on the committee in a meaningful way.

2. Identify measurable adaptation indicators and harmonize with existing M&E processes

NCCAP 2018–2022 identifies priority actions and expected results by June 30, 2023 in seven priority areas. The seven priority areas include national-level SDG indicators that can be measured in Kenya with available data or data that can be produced with minimum effort in one to two years (Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform, 2017). These SDG indicators have been identified as useful for monitoring NCCAP 2018–2022 adaptation actions. Some of these likely can be proxy indicators for adaptation achievements, in that they can provide an indication of the progress made in achieving increased resilience to climate change but likely will not provide an accurate measurement of actual resilience improvements (Christiansen, Schaer, Larsen, & Naswa, 2016, p. 11). Tracking these indicators against climate variability is expected to provide information for the M&E of adaptation. Alignment of the climate priority indicators with national indicators, as defined in the Third Medium-Term Plan Indicators Handbook under development by the National Treasury and Ministry of Planning, will be essential.

A first phase of work is to develop an agreement with the National Treasury and Ministry of Planning to define the baseline data and M&E results for the national-level indicators included in NCCAP 2018–2022 and to use this information to track progress on adaptation.

The next step is to finalize the sector-specific M&E frameworks to measure adaptation outcomes. The Climate Change Directorate will work with the climate change units in sector ministries to use the expected results set out for each of the seven climate priorities to guide the identification of appropriate adaptation indicators. This will include identifying indicators with available baseline data for 2018, indicators requiring the collection of data, and sources of information and data. Many indicators selected by sectors lack baseline information, and the mechanisms for data collection have not been well defined.

3. Establish guidelines and build capacity for adaptation reporting

Guidelines for adaptation reporting need to be established for sectoral ministries and county governments. This reporting will be primarily undertaken by climate change units established in national government entities and county governments as a requirement of the Climate Change Act, 2016. The Climate Change Directorate will work with a select number of national government entities that are most involved in adaptation actions or whose programs are essential for the delivery of the Big Four Agenda, such as the ministries of agriculture, environment and forestry, and health, and the National Drought Management Authority. Capacity building for climate change units is required to enhance M&E of adaptation and reporting at the sector level.

Over time, as lessons are learned, the reporting requirements will be expanded to all national public entities and county governments.

4. Build on established adaptation M&E systems at the county level

Some county governments have piloted county-level adaptation M&E systems using the Tracking Adaptation and Monitoring Development (TAMD) approach (Karani, Kariuki, & Osman, 2014). At least five county governments have established county climate change funds, and many carry out M&E as a requirement of fund regulations and development partner support. There is an ongoing effort to develop county-level indicators through UN Development and MED.

The key steps for identifying county-level indicators are illustrated in Figure 1.

5. Consider linking the adaptation M&E system with national and county M&E systems

The Climate Change Directorate will link the climate change MRV+ system with the National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System (NIMES) through MED, who are responsible for national and county M&E, indicator development and data collection; M&E policy coordination and capacity building; dissemination, advocacy and sensitization; research and results analysis; and project M&E. The MED of the National Treasury and Ministry of Planning is in the process of expanding the scope of NIMES, including the development of an electronic dashboard to help the government access timely and regular information for evidence-based decision making to achieve Kenya Vision 2030 and the SDGs.

The integration with NIMES will reduce the need for some formal arrangements and complex governance systems for adaptation M&E. This integration will build on the collaboration between the MED and the Climate Change Directorate to develop the indicators handbook and could

Suggested Citation

Mutimba, S., Wattimah Simiyu, S., Lerenten Lelekoiten, T., Ospina, A. & Murphy, D. (2019). Kenya’s Monitoring and Evaluation of Adaptation: Simplified, integrated, multilevel. NAP Global Network Country Brief. IISD: Winnipeg, Canada.

References / Further Reading

Government of Kenya. (2015). Kenya’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. Retrieved from

Government of Kenya. (2016). Kenya National Adaptation Plan, 2015–2030. Nairobi: Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Retrieved from php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33&Itemid=73

Karani, I., Kariuki, N., & Osman, F. (2014). Tracking adaptation and measuring development in Kenya. London: International Institute for Environment and Development. Retrieved from

The Climate Change Act, 2016. No. 11 of 2016. Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 68. Retrieved from http://www.environment. Change_Act_2016.pdf

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