Original Research

Indicators for monitoring and evaluating climate change adaptation efforts in South Africa

Esonasipho Seyisi, Brian Mantlana, Simbarashe Ndhleve
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 15, No 1 | a1426 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v15i1.1426 | © 2023 Esonasipho Seyisi, Brian Mantlana, Simbarashe Ndhleve | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 November 2022 | Published: 30 June 2023

About the author(s)

Esonasipho Seyisi, Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa
Brian Mantlana, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa
Simbarashe Ndhleve, Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa


Tracking and reporting on whether countries are implementing climate change adaptation initiatives are increasingly becoming more important, and indicators and metrics for monitoring climate change adaptation have equally become crucial. This study employed systematic literature coupled with expert consultation to identify climate adaptation metrics and indicators using South Africa as a case study. Specifically, this study identifies climate change adaptation indicators and selects indicators suitable for use in South Africa. Thirty-seven indicators of climate change adaptation covering different sectors were identified. Nine were identified as input indicators, eight as process indicators, 12 as output indicators and eight as outcome indicators. Application of the specific measurable achievable realistic and timely (SMART) criterion to the 37 indicators resulted in 18 indicators of climate change adaptation. Following stakeholder consultations, eight indicators were chosen as appropriate for tracking the country’s progress towards climate change adaptation. The indicators developed in this study could contribute to climate adaptation tracking, while offering initial steps towards a set of indicators and their improvement thereof.

Contribution: Insights from this article can provide actionable information for decision-making in climate change adaptation. This is one of the few studies that seek to narrow down relevant and applicable indicators and metrics used by South Africa when reporting climate change adaptation.


adaptation indicators; climate action; climate policy; metrics; UNFCCC; South Africa.


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