A community-level tool that integrates climate change into a wider participatory vulnerability analysis.

The Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA) is a tool used to gather and analyze information on community-level vulnerabilities to and capacities for climate change. It informs the identification of actions, at the community level or more broadly, that support communities in increasing their resilience to climate change.

CARE’s Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA) Handbook was first developed in 2009, at a time when humanitarian and development actors were beginning to think more seriously about climate change and how it would affect their efforts to support communities in realizing their aspirations to get out of poverty. Recognizing the context-specificity of climate impacts, as well as the socioeconomic dimensions of climate change adaptation, we developed the CVCA Handbook to guide practitioners in analyzing vulnerability to climate change and adaptive capacity at the community level. Since then, the CVCA Handbook has been applied by CARE and its partners, as well as other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments and researchers, in communities around the world.

CVCA Second Edition

Ten years on, much has been learned about adaptation and resilience building, as well as about the CVCA process itself. The context has also evolved.  CARE has developed its approach to increasing resilience which builds on experience implementing projects focusing on community-based adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and food and nutrition security, among other issues. This updated handbook aims to integrate these learnings with a particular focus on gender, ecosystems and governance to be specifically considered in all steps of the CVCA. The CVCA process considers the potential negative impacts of climate change on gender equality, ecosystems and governance, as well as how their status influences people’s resilience. By including these as cross-cutting issues for the process, the CVCA process can provide a basis for taking an integrated approach, including options that create positive change in relation to these issues, while also increasing climate resilience.

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Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis Handbook: Second Edition

July 2019

What can the CVCA be used for?

  1. Community-level planning and action: The CVCA is one step in developing a community adaptation plan. It also facilitates the inclusion of such community plans in local development plans. If this is how you plan to use the CVCA, stake-holders’ involvement is crucial, and additional tools (e.g., visioning) for developing adaptation plans should be used. See CARE Adaptation Planning Brief which explains the whole planning process. See Planning for Resilience Manual which details the different steps of the planning process.
  2. Awareness and advocacy campaign: CVCA findings can be used as a basis for developing campaigns for systemic change and influence national and subnational adaptation planning processes. If this is your main objective, you might consider including additional stakeholder mapping exercises. See the Advocacy Handbook
  3. Projects and program design: The CVCA can also be used for integrating climate change risks into project and program design. In that case, it can be used in a slightly lighter way and eventually on a larger scale. See an example from Tanzania.

Who is the CVCA for?

  • Technical advisors 
  • Project managers 
  • Other staff working on projects in international or local NGOs 

How long will it take?

The amount of time the CVCA process takes depends on: 

  • The scope of the analysis and your main objectives 
  • The number of stakeholders involved 
  • The availability of secondary information 
  • Presence in and relationship with the community and stakeholders. 

Former Editions of CVCA

Examples of CVCA Reports

The first CVCA Handbook (2009) has been applied by CARE and other organizations around the world. Below are a few links to CVCA reports produced through these efforts. Though they do not reflect the updated approach outlined in the revised handbook (2.0), they provide examples of how different teams have documented their analysis. CVCA in:

Methodologies built on CVCA

The CVCA tool has been adapted over the year to fit the objectives and context of each project and program. You can find below methodologies that have build on the CVCA to serve other linked purposes: 

CVCA First Edition

The first edition of the CVCA is no longer used, but here for reference.

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Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis Handbook Version 1

May 2009