Objective: Identify and prioritize local adaptation and mitigation actions at a city level (in a given case).

The analysis is undertaken not only to identify adaptation and mitigation actions but also to prioritize which actions should be implemented first. CLIMACT Prio tool applies a Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) evaluation.

If you want to have a quick look into the tool, you can use the trial version:

The CLIMACT Prio Tool can be used to inform real-life decision-making on climate adaptation and mitigation planning. When used in this context we recommend to take at least one day to run the first two steps of the tool (Formulating an initial wish list of Actions and Feasibility Assessment) and one to two full days for the remaining steps (Criteria selection; Impact matrix; Weighting of criteria; Final results). The process can take longer depending on the availability of stakeholders.

The need to tackle the risks posed by the impacts of climate change to development and poverty reduction goals has triggered a growing range of tools to integrate adaptation and mitigation into development co-operation and planning. For a long time development planners and project managers have used a wide variety of tools to manage a broad range of environmental risks, including those posed by climate variability. Some of these tools have also now been modified to take into account the risks posed by climate change.

At the same time, there has been a recent emphasis on developing more dedicated tools which have an explicit focus on screening for climate change risks and on prioritizing adaptation actions in order for local governments to conduct local climate change adaptation action plans.

These kind of tools can be used both for informative decision making and capacity building purposes. It is within this set of tools that CLIMACT Prio tool was developed.

The actor responsible to utilize CLIMACT Prio are diverse depending on the use of the tool:

  1. Main use: city adaptation or mitigation planning > Responsible actor: the task force in charge of the Climate Adaptation or Mitigation Action plan
  2. Main use: training of city/regional/national government officers > Responsible actor: a public officer trained to use CLIMACT Prio
  3. Main use: training Master course students > Responsible actor: course leader/climate expert trained to use CLIMACT Prio

CLIMACT Prio Tool’s main target groups are local and national governments, urban planners, city managers, academic and research institutions in the field of climate change in urban areas.

CLIMACT Prio is a climate awareness, decision support and capacity building tool for screening and prioritizing of local climate change actions. CLIMACT Prio utilizes a multi-criteria approach to assist decision makers and urban planners to identify a wide range of decision criteria and set priorities among objectives while performing an analysis and assessment of climate change (mitigation or adaptation) actions.

This method does not necessarily identify an “optimal” option, but rather requires the user to draw conclusions by looking at different components of the whole picture of the assessment and prioritization process, while seeking a consensus decision between stakeholders with different needs, concerns, and priorities.

CLIMACT Prio tool provides an interactive format to help users structure and define the decisions under consideration. The tool asks the user to enter information through a guided menu of instructions and uses a menu-driven graphic representation of results for the evaluation of climate change actions.


The user first identifies specific actions to be screened according to their feasibility and then selects the impact assessment criteria and objectives that will be used to assess the selected actions. While following the climate actions prioritization process, the users rates the relative importance of criteria and assign scores (qualitative and quantitative) to describe how each option meets each criterion. The CLIMACT Prio tool is structured in six main steps:

  1. Identification of preliminary wish-list of actions based on cities vulnerability profiles, broader development goals and visions (this step forms the basis to use the tool) (Main actors: policy makers and city officers)
  2. Feasibility Assessment: Consists in the screening of each action identified in the wish-list against pre-defined feasibility criteria and formulation of a shortlist of actions to take further into the assessment (Main actors: policy makers and city officers)
  3. Evaluation Criteria Identification: Based on city vulnerability profiles, broader development goals and the preliminary list of adaptation actions, evaluation criteria are identified. (Main actors: city officers and civil society)
  4. Impact assessment: Consists of experts’ judgments and impact assessment matrix along with normalized scores and graphs; (Main actors: relevant experts/consultants depending on the type of actions);
  5. Weighting of criteria: Consists in the weighting of criteria by the stakeholders and the generation of relevant graphs (Main actors: policy makers, city officers, civil society, private sector);
  6. Results: Consists of the presentation of weighted scores, final ranking and the generation of relevant graphs (Main actors: All those part of previous steps)


  1. The CLIMACT Prio facilitates the use of both quantitative and qualitative measurement scales, and this makes it possible to address interdisciplinary problems like those involving the multiple sets of values and objectives underlying climate change and broader environmental issues. Multi-criteria Analysis (MCA), offers a platform for problem solving by reaching a compromise or defining a coalition of views, without dictating the individual or collective judgments of the partners.
  2. Stimulates dialogue and the creation of an environment where policy-makers and city officials scrutinize their priorities and recognize existing strengths and gaps but are also able to foresee the challenges ahead in terms of reaching consensus about different value sets in urban development.
  3. Enhances chances of knowledge transfer and identification of knowledge holders of both scientific and technical nature by both scientists (acting as experts) and practitioners, hence also confronting the two different working logics that too often function separately.
  4. The tool empowers stakeholders that use it to justify the choice of a specific course of action in the eyes of city leaders (e.g. mayors) for buy-in.


  1. Adding reliable estimates of non-market variables
  2. The tool has a certain degree of subjectivity in the choice of actions, criteria and assigning of weights.
  3. Bringing together stakeholders from different government levels, departments and/or civil society to discuss and reach a consensus on city priorities may be challenging because of conflicting agendas, schedules and values.
  4. MCA is a data intensive analysis

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Generally accessible documents:

(CLIMACT Prio) tool Capacity building and Decision Support tool: CLIMate ACTions Prioritization [online] [Accessed 11 July, 2016].

Olivotto, V. (2014) CLIMACT Prio: A Decision Support Tool for CLIMate ACTions Prioritization (Presentation at Resilient Cities 2014, 5th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation, 29-31 May, 2014, Bonn, Germany) [online] [Accessed 11 July, 2016].

Academic documents (access may be limited):

Haque, A. N.; Grafakos, S. and Huijsman M. (2012) Participatory integrated assessment of flood protection measures for climate adaptation in Dhaka, Environment and Urbanization, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 197–213.