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Innovating for climate resilience


We know that generating evidence of impact and scalability can be tricky. We want to address this challenge and partner with innovators to improve the rigour of measurement and evaluation of impact towards climate resilience and adaptation. In turn this will help us all to better understand the emerging innovations that can make a difference to the ability of individuals to live their lives in a changing climate.

Our Innovating for Climate Resilience fund invests, through grant, equity, and debt instruments, in innovations with the potential to scale and support the world’s poorest to build resilience and adaptation. Applications for GIF investment in the fields of climate resilience and adaptation can be made via our application page.

Our Innovating for Climate Resilience fund was launched in partnership with the Adaptation Research Alliance and the Global Resilience Partnership, with seed funding from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

Our climate strategy 

GIF has published a Climate Strategy setting out our proposals to unlock investment and finance in resilience and adaptation, by investing in solutions that can make an outsized difference to the poorest people, and that can be scaled, de-risking them for other investors.

Innovations through a climate lens


Babban Gona

Babban GonaAgriculture is susceptible to climate change as its negative impacts affect crop yields and livestock. Farmers in Nigeria with no viable means to increase their yields often engage in unsustainable agricultural practices which increase the effect of climate change and threaten farmers’ livelihoods and food supply. Babban Gona, an agriculture franchise model that seeks to sustainably improve the lives of smallholder farmers through the provision of comprehensive farming services, tries to tackle these issues upfront. Its efforts focus on climate change mitigation initiatives and building farmers' resilience to climate related shocks. Climate change mitigation initiatives include farmers' training which promote (i) reduced deforestation (ii) reduced crop burning (iii) crop rotation and (iv) optimized input use. To build Babban Gona  farmers’ resilience to climate related shocks, Babban Gona (i) implements innovative solutions to increase their productivity and profitability (i.e. post-harvest solutions to reduce losses) and (ii) takes out yield insurance in the case of extreme weather conditions to provide disaster relief.


A recent study on the climate resilience of water companies in developing countries demonstrated that climate change over the next ten years will negatively impact water supply for approximately 5.1 billion people, with water quality and affordability most at risk. All water suppliers will face disruption to their supply chain. Climate change manifests both as shock (e.g. increased droughts) and stress events (e.g. depleting groundwater levels), and necessitates that water systems build resilience to guard themselves against potentially devastating effects. Facing this threat, CityTaps built a three part inter-related solution to address multiple issues faced by developing countries’ urban water utilities in ensuring sustainable water provision: a) A prepaid connected smart water meter, which measures and sends water usage data in real time; b) A cloud software, which the utility can use to view live data, as well as to manage customers (e.g. controlling water supply to a given area at a meter level); c) Mobile payments which enable households to load water credits using mobile money (and can also have other individuals e.g. relatives or friends pay on their behalf). This not only allows utilities to better manage water supplies when facing stress events, but also to be more resilient to shocks by being more sustainably funded to spring back.

Give Directly and ideas42

The world’s poorest are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as they are both more dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods and less well equipped to adapt and respond to climate change given access to limited financial resources. Cash transfers can help those households to build climate resilience by increasing household consumption, and providing opportunities to invest in assets or build up savings to better cope with adverse climate shocks in the future[1]. GIF has provided grants to two innovations working on cash transfers: GiveDirectly is working on delivering large, lump sum cash transfers to improve the lives of refugees and host communities, and ideas42 is designing and implementing behavioural nudges that increase the effectiveness and efficiency of cash transfer programs targeting the poorest households. These innovators work across some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change including Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya [2]. 

[1] World Food Programme, (2019). Social protection and climate change. Access online: here.
[2] Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative. 2017."ND-GAIN Country Index." Accessed online: here

Mr Green Africa

The plastics industry is an intensive greenhouse gas emitting industry, not only through the extraction, transport and refining of fossil fuels to produce plastic, but also through its disposal. Plastics are built to last and when they are discarded in landfills or water systems, they further add to CO2 emissions through their degradation or incineration. A proposed solution to the plastic problem is through the circular economy; a closed system that uses innovation to eliminate waste. Mr Green Africa, a tech-enabled plastics recycling company in Nairobi is building a circular economy through its in-house end-to-end recycling process. Mr Green Africa purchases plastic waste directly from waste pickers, some of society's most marginalised and poorest people, and processes the plastic waste into PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastics for onward sale to plastics manufacturers. The PCR plastic finds its way back into household consumer brand packaging, such as Sunlight’s scouring powder, a well-known Unilever brand in East Africa. Mr Green Africa is paving the way for a circular economy, stopping plastic waste from leaking into our environment and converting it into a sustainable and valuable resource.

One Acre Fund & Stanford

Two and a half billion people -- among them half the world’s poor -- live on smallholder farms.  Small-holder farmers in developing countries are disproportionately exposed to the effects of climate change that undermine their livelihoods and exacerbate food insecurity. At the same time, unsustainable agricultural practices, such as deforestation, used to increase yields accelerate these climate trends further. 

GIF is supporting One Acre Fund with a $15m grant to drive small-holder farmer income improvements through accelerating testing and scale up of new farming innovations. They address the above mentioned vicious cycle by prioritising work on resilience with the over 1 million farmers in their network by focusing on promoting strategies that enhance small-holder adaptation, and implementing practices that mitigate climate change. Adaptation initiatives include crop diversification, micro-insurance, and improvements to soil health, and mitigation activities that cover agroforestry, conservation agriculture, and increasing soil carbon stocks. 

Designing policies and improving markets to support smallholder resilience requires timely, reliable, fine-geographic-scale information on farm conditions and performance at the national level. This information has historically not been systematically and reliably available.   GIF-supported researchers at Stanford have shown that they can use satellite imagery and machine learning to measure crop yield as accurately as far more expensive and time-consuming ground based methods.  This opens up possibilities for more responsive  implementation of public policies and more efficient agricultural markets.  The researchers have gone on to found a public benefit corporation to get this to work at scale.


Multiple studies have demonstrated the pervasive use of fossil fuel backup generators in developing countries across Africa and Asia, contributing to a substantial amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Generators are used not just to bring electricity to remote areas, but overwhelmingly to circumvent unreliable and broken electricity distribution grids. Unreliability is a symptom of the financial insolvency and dysfunction that is common amongst utilities in charge of these grids. A better solution exists, both for the immediate needs of poor communities, and for the climate. SparkMeter designed a smart meter technology to enable more reliable grid operations by reducing utility inefficiency and making it easier for utilities to transact on and collect large numbers of small electricity payments from customers (often those in remote areas who are most expensive for utilities to serve). It also enables broader renewable adoption supply into their systems to mitigate climate change. Moreover, SparkMeter provides utilities with grid analytics, which can increase grid resiliency against the effects of climate change (stronger storms, droughts and temperature extremes lead to a surge in peak energy use), by providing operational insights that plot trends, show impacts, explain root causes of grid anomalies, and suggest actions to improve.

Our partners
We believe that GIF will be more effective if it forges partnerships with organisations that have complementary expertise, reach and resources. For this reason, we are:
  • A strategic innovation partner to the Global Resilience Partnership, a network of more than sixty organisations that have joined forces to work together to create a vision of the world where people and places are able to persist, adapt and transform in the face of shocks, uncertainty and change.
  • A member and strategic innovation partner of the Adaptation Research Alliance, an international partnership of development finance organisations working together to accelerate and scale up private investment in climate adaptation and resilience in developing and emerging countries.
  • An observer of The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance initiative, which aims to drive billions of dollars of private investment into climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries; and partner with other potential co-investors, large and small, to support us in identifying innovations and feed into our growing pipeline.
  • Joined up to the Adaptation and Resilience Investors’ Collaborative, hosted by CDC Group, FCDO and the Global Centre for Adaptation