Adaptive Capacity Index

As climate change adaptation is now an established policy domain, cities, local governments and businesses are increasingly interested in accessing robust tools to help identify gaps in organisational capacities.

Professor Mark PellingThe Adaptive Capacity Index (ACI) spearheaded by Professor Mark Pelling was originally developed to assess local government capacity to respond to heat wave risk in London. More recently the tool has been applied to flood risk and deployed in World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and Belmont Forum projects with cities in the US, Central and South America, and the UK. It has also been integrated into UNHABITAT’s City Resilience Action Planning tool and applied in cities across sub-Saharan Africa. 

The ACI highlights policy opportunities for individual organisations or sectors. It contains three elements.

  • A compound index describing current adaptive capacity
  • An analysis of policy options
  • A space for individuals and groups to reflect on current policy aims and mechanisms

The current version of the ACI has been tested and refined through several research projects and consultancies funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council, Department for International Development, and the European Commission 7th Framework Programme.


Click here for Mark's Research Profile