Rising to the Challenge Together

This report presents an assessment of the state of the climate adaptation field and offers recommendations for enhancing adaptation practice to meet the climate challenges facing states and communities. The report explores what a "strong mature adaptation field" would look like and what would be needed to build it.

The report's organizational framework examines the four foundational components of a professional field to evaluate the state of the emerging adaptation field, including: purpose (the goals the field is organized around), people (the actors and networks carrying out the field), practice (the common actions, knowledge, tools and skills practiced by the field), and pillars (funding and resources to support the field) -- or the "4Ps".

The recommendations of the report, include the following: 

This resource was featured in the February 8, 2018, ASAP Newsletter.

"A new report commissioned for the Kresge Foundation has a clear message for the adaptation community: Come together, right now. Authored by three ASAP members, “Rising to the Challenge, Together,” applauds how the adaptation field has grown in influence and sophistication, but warns that our field is still too crisis-driven and to accelerate action we need a shared vision, consistent funding, universal best practices, and a larger focus on social equity across the field."

  • Purpose - communicate the urgency of the threat posed by climate change in ways that are tailored to specific audiences; address climate threats through both adaptation and mitigation; convene stakeholders at all levels to develop a common vision; identify intersectional problems and develop solutions to reduce the resilience gap.
  • People - broaden the circle of people engaging on questions of resilience (including youth, the private sector, and underrepresented communities); bring people together around a shared vision; engage research institutions and professional societies.
  • Practice - develop analyses and tools to make the economic case for adaptation, disclose climate risk, measure resilience, and tell success stories; build capacity by developing certification and training opportunities, breaking down silos, building leadership, and investing in transformative change.
  • Pillars - create new funding mechanisms, encourage greater coordination among funders, develop and implement interventions that can help to scale up adaptation through policy, regional support, professional societies, and standards.

The report was prepared for the Kresge Foundation, and was developed by completing a comprehensive literature review and conducting surveys and interviews with adaptation practitioners.


Publication Date: December 2017

Authors or Affiliated Users:

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Policy analysis/recommendations


Go To Resource