LoCAL is engaged with 71 local governments, reaching over 1,5 million people in Bangladesh.

Climate Vulnerability:

Bangladesh is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the negative impacts of climate change. The country has a high population density and sits on the low-lying delta of two of the largest rivers on the Indian sub-continent. Communities struggle with regular and extreme flooding and cyclones, alternating with prolonged periods of drought and rising temperatures. Food security is a significant problem for many of its 160+ million people, as is access to reliable drinking water. Climate change is negatively impacting the health of many Bangladeshis and forcing others to relocate, creating a growing climate refugee population.

National Response

The Government of Bangladesh identified a number of key areas for action to address climate change in their 2015 intended nationally determined contributions (iNDCs) submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. These included:

• food security
• livelihood and health protection
• comprehensive disaster management
• coastal zone management, including salinity intrusion control
• flood control and erosion protection
• and building climate-resilient infrastructure

The above priorities are guided by the Government of Bangladesh 2009 climate change strategy.

Local governments in Bangladesh are mandated to perform several key functions related to disaster preparedness and management, making them important players in taking action on climate change. Local governments at the upazila (subdistrict) and union parishad (grassroots) levels receive fiscal transfers which are used to strengthen local infrastructure and deliver services. LoCAL works with these local governments to mainstream climate change resilience into their planning and investment systems and support localization of the iNDCs and national climate change adaptation goals.



In Bangladesh, LoCAL is part of the multi-donor collaborative initiative: Local Government Initiative on Climate Change (LoGIC), which is funded by Sida and the European Union, with some input from the United Nations Development Programme and UNCDF.

LoGIC uses LoCAL’s innovative performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRG) system to channel finance to local governments and support locally identified projects with technical support and capacity building.

71 Local governments engaged

509 Adaptation investments

590,000 Direct Beneficiaries

Budget: 2,000,762 USD (up to 2019)

Action on Climate Change:

As of December 2020, 509 small-scale climate resilience schemes had been finalized under LoCAL. The investments delivered direct results for approximately 590,000 people.
■ Priority investments included construction, reconstruction and repair of climate-adaptive infrastructure (drainage systems, culverts, embankments, etc.) to protect human settlements and other critical facilities, such as markets and roads.
■ Investments to ensure the availability of drinking water were also prioritized. Climate proofing of water supply systems and installation of filtering and desalinization technologies (especially in coastal areas) are a few examples of adaptation options implemented. Similarly, rainwater harvesting systems have been constructed at the community and household levels. Climate proofing of sanitation facilities has been undertaken, and flood-proof sanitary latrines constructed in flood-prone areas.

■ Many interventions focused on promoting more climate-resilient livelihoods, which in
the areas of intervention are mostly based on agriculture and fishery. Investments include demonstration plots and capacity building on various climate adaptive and environment friendly agricultural techniques (inter-cropping, hydroponics, and green sheds for seedling) and crop varieties. Finally, nearly 63,000 plant saplings were planted along roadsides to reduce soil erosion as part of nature-based solutions explored.
■ Capacity building, awareness raising, and equipment were also delivered to fishing communities to ensure safe and risk-informed practices taking more frequent climate- extreme events into account.
■ Schemes undertaken also considered extremely vulnerable groups, such as communities displaced by climate-induced hazards, ethnic minorities and women. For instance, LoCAL is supporting destitute rural women in climate-vulnerable areas with capacity building on access to market and income-generating activities, helping improve their adaptive and absorptive capacity.



The overall objective of LoCAL-Bangladesh is to demonstrate the comparative advantage of local governments in managing climate change finance for improving climate change resilience at the local community level. Specific objectives are to ensure that local governments can perform the following:
■ Respond to the increasing impact of climate change in Bangladesh in accordance with locally prioritized needs and vulnerabilities, with sufficient consideration for the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure they support
■ Promote robust, transparent and accountable local public expenditure management systems by providing funds to further consolidate meaningful, efficient, effective and participatory local planning and budgeting processes as well as strengthen incentives for climate change resilience
■ Support strengthening of the country’s fiscal transfer system and establishment of a strategic platform for the government to attract further financial support for local-level infrastructure and services in a sustainable, performance-based and climate change–resilient manner


LoCAL-Bangladesh began in 2014 with the roll-out of PBCRGs in three local governments and was rapidly expanded to 72. Since launching Phase II in 2016, key achievements include:

  • Formulation of a Risk Reduction Action Plan to integrate climate resilience investment plans and financing through community risk assessment, capacity building and technical support for 72 union parishads, which have been approved with the engagement of standing committees and line departments.

  • State-of-the-art accounting and management information systems and adaptation tracking and measuring software have been developed to support local governments. LoCAL has trained 72 union parishad secretaries in the accounting and information system software; field- level project staff have had hands-on training on entering and updating field-level data in the adaptation tracking app.

  • The PBCRG model has been successfully integrated into the Bangladeshi intergovernmental fiscal transfer system, with UNCDF funds transferred through the treasury and the Local Government Division of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives to the union parishads.

  • LoCAL experience is serving as a standard to advance the country’s commitment to decentralized climate finance. Discussions are ongoing to include climate vulnerability considerations into inter-governmental transfer allocation formulas for local governments. LoCAL is supporting the development of a climate vulnerability index that will include all union parishads in the country and guide the Local Government Division of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives to revise the criteria of the current allocation formula in use to take climate change impacts into account at the local level.

  • Positive financial audit of 72 union parishads qualified them for a second cycle of PBCRGs. In 2020, 261 investments were financed for a portfolio value of approximately US $2 million.

Way Forward

  1. Undertake the mid-term evaluation and apply learning elements emerging from the exercise within LoCAL/LoGIC design and implementation for the way forward.
  2. Ensure timely implementation of two additional cycles of PBCRGs, while advancing on the institutionalization of the mechanism in view of the integration of LoCAL performance indicators into the government’s local government monitoring indicators, the inclusion of climate vulnerability indicators into the allocation formula of the country’s inter-governmental transfer systems, and the provision for climate change additionality in subnational budgeting.
  3. Reassess adaptation options and explore non-traditional investments to further increase the effectiveness of adaptation responses at the local level, in light of emerging literature, e.g. on nature-based solutions with important mitigation co-benefits.


Climate change adaptation falls within the core mandate of community councils, along with land use planning, natural resource management and infrastructure development. Climate change adaptation requires effective coordination of various stakeholders. As a gateway for development facilitation at the local level as well as custodians of all development, community councils are strategically positioned to play this coordination role. However, community councils seldom have sufficient resources to execute these functions.

The overall outcome of LoCAL-Lesotho is to improve the climate change resilience of the communities in the selected councils as a result of climate change adaptation activities funded through the performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG) and capacity development support. By promoting climate change–resilient communities and economies via increasing financing for and investment in climate change adaptation at the local level, LoCAL-Lesotho will directly contribute to one of the country’s development plan pillars – reversing environmental degradation and adapting to climate change.

The objectives for LoCAL-Lesotho are as follows:

• Increased transfer of climate finance to local governments through national institutions and systems for building verifiable climate change adaptation and resilience

• A standard and recognized country-based mechanism which supports direct access to international climate finance

Four outputs are envisaged:

(i) inclusive and accountable climate change adaptation is mainstreamed into local council planning;

(ii) government, local authority and population awareness of and capacities in adaptation and resilience planning are improved;

(iii) an effective country PBCRG finance mechanism is established and operational, providing additional funding to targeted community councils; and

(iv) experience and lessons learned are consolidated and shared.waiting results of annual performance assessment (APA). Lessons are being drawn from the LoCAL pilot to expand the LoCAL and its PBCRG mechanism to additional community councils in Lesotho and to attract additional finance to be channelled through the LoCAL mechanism to finance locally led adaptation and increase resilience of communities and local economies. This intends to prepare for a fully integrated mechanism into the country systems and a scaling-up country-wide.



Way Forward



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