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Applying RAPTA to Indigenous People’s Green Climate Fund Concept Notes

The Resilience, Adaptation Pathways and Transformation Assessment framework (RAPTA) began development by CSIRO in 2016 following a request by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility. RAPTA seeks to apply existing principles of resilience, transformation, adaptation pathways and learning to the scoping, design and implementation of large development programs. While many of these concepts are well-established, to date they have not been applied within a single framework, or as a cohesive ‘toolbox’, to intentionally intervene in complex systems and achieve sustainability goals. RAPTA is now being tested and refined by CSIRO and its partners through various development program planning activities.

In this case, CSIRO was invited by the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Climate Change Adaptation Unit, Bangkok, to assist in the design of concept notes by Indigenous People’s representatives for submission to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). On the 7th and part of 8th February 2017, James Butler from CSIRO Land and Water demonstrated tools from the System Description, System Assessment and Options and Pathways components of RAPTA using four case studies from Vietnam, Nepal, Nicaragua and Kenya. Using causal loop analysis, Theory of Change and intervention pathways, 20 Indigenous representatives, three UNDP and five consultancy participants analysed priority climate and development challenges and identified key interventions in the case study systems, and the sequencing of actions to achieve transformational change. Although too short and limited to allow a full multi-stakeholder RAPTA process for each case study, the 1 ½ day exercise served to highlight priority interventions that could form GCF project proposals. For each case study, these were:

  • Vietnam (Tay, Nung, Hmong San, Diu, Dzao, San Chi, Caolan, Hoa and Kinh ethnic groups, Thai Nguyen Province): The priority issue was unstable upland agricultural productivity caused directly by increased climate variability and reduced water flows from native forests. The priority intervention was the allocation of public forest lands to local ethnic groups to be managed under successful traditional practices through co-management with government.
  • Nepal (Gorung, Tamang, Magar and Dura ethnic groups in the Lamjung region): The priority issue was upland water scarcity, caused directly by longer dry seasons, inappropriate forestry policies, and the introduction of non-native vegetation. The priority intervention was the strengthening of traditional natural resource management and knowledge.
  • Nicaragua (Miskitu ethnic group from Haulover, Indigenous Territory of Prinzu Awal Un): The priority issue was coastal erosion, caused by sand extraction, weak customary policies and institutions, deforestation, lack of awareness of climate change, and intensified waves and flooding. The priority intervention was strengthened natural resource management norms.
  • Kenya (Maasai ethnic group from Narok and Kajiado Counties): The priority issue was famine, caused directly by drought, cross-border restrictions on movement, limited livelihood options, constrained access to water and poor pasture management. The priority intervention was the restoration and strengthening of cultural norms and practices for rangeland management.


Participants then developed a Theory of Change for the implementation of their interventions. Following this exercise, project activities were sequenced to minimise risks posed by future uncertainty. The resulting ‘implementation pathways’ formed the basis for potential GCF project plans.  Learn more


Resource Type

  • Reports and Publications of relevance to Country Teams