Vulnerability Sourcebook: adelphi develops new approach for standardised assessments

With the growing importance of climate adaptation activities, comes an increasing need for supporting tools. With the new "Vulnerability Sourcebook", adelphi and EURAC provide hands-on guidance for conducting standardised vulnerability assessments that can also be used for M&E.


Climate change poses a great challenge for both developed and developing countries. With the increasing efforts to adapt to climatic changes comes a growing need for practical and effective tools that support the adaptation process and help monitoring and evaluating the success of such activities.

"Vulnerability Sourcebook" provides hands-on guidance for technical and adaptation experts

On behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and in cooperation with the European Academy of Bozen (EURAC), adelphi has completed the first comprehensive guidebook for conducting standardised vulnerability assessments. The so-called "Vulnerability Sourcebook" provides hands-on guidance for technical and adaptation experts looking for effective assistance in the planning, implementation and evaluation of adaptation activities.

Based on the vulnerability definition provided by the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Sourcebook helps determine whether and to what extent a system is exposed and susceptible to climate change. It also provides incremental guidance in assessing the potential impact on the respective system and its adaptive capacity. On that account, the new approach addresses a broad range of sectors and topics, ranging from agriculture, fisheries, the water sector to different ecosystems. Finally, it covers community, sub-national and national levels as well as different time horizons.

New approach has been tested in Pakistan, Bolivia and Burundi

The "Vulnerability Sourcebook" is accompanied by a resourceful annex that provides a wide range of practical tools and templates for conducting the full process of a vulnerability assessment independently. This includes the preparation of vulnerability assessments, the identification of indicators and development of impact chains, the collection, management and aggregation of data as well as the presentation of outcomes.

The "Vulnerability Sourcebook" makes a valuable contribution to adaptation and development planning as well as to monitoring and evaluating adaptation. This has already been demonstrated by applying it in several countries such as Pakistan, Bolivia and Burundi.

» "The Vulnerability Sourcebook: Concept and guidelines for standardised vulnerability assessments" (full version and annex)

» Case study: Working with the Vulnerability Sourcebook in Chullcu Mayu, Bolivien