Your location: Home

Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change

Developing Socio-Economic Scenarios for Use in Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments

The second and third steps of the Adaptation Policy Framework (APF), assessing current vulnerability and characterizing future climate risks, involve developing socioeconomic scenarios (called “conditions and prospects”).

Technical Paper 6 is devoted to guidance on this topic. Users are advised to include indicators (qualitative or quantitative or a mix of both) in five categories: demography, economics, natural resource use, governance/policy, and culture. The baseline should include current adaptations to current climate. Users are then given guidance on constructing storylines of the future and exploring at least two significantly different but possible futures.

Appropriate Use The guidance on socioeconomic scenarios is designed as part of a larger process of developing adaptation strategies, policies, and measures. Other analyses that interact with socioeconomic scenarios are climate risks and vulnerability analyses. Crosscutting guidance is given on involving stakeholders and increasing adaptive capacity.
Scope Local, sectoral, regional, and national. The APF will be most useful at the local and sectoral levels.
Key Output Scenarios that include demographic, economic, governance/policy, and cultural indicators and data.
Key Input Qualitative and/or quantitative information from various sources, including expert and stakeholder input.
Ease of Use The whole APF process requires a substantial commitment of time and resources; the scenario portion can be developed using existing data and stakeholder input or more sophisticated methods such as tailored computer-based models.
Training Required No training required
Training Available Formal training is being planned but is not currently offered.
Computer Requirements None
Documentation See for the User’s Guidebook and the Nine Technical Papers.

GEF projects in Latin America are being designed using the APF, but it has not yet been employed in the projects.

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

National Communications Support Programme

UNDP-GEF, Room 1607, 304 East 45th St, NY, NY 10017, USA; Tel: 1.212.906.5730; Fax: 1.212.906.6568; e-mail:

Cost No cost

See documentation