Rewarding inspiring, innovative and scalable locally led efforts to address climate change and build resilience among vulnerable communities.

Adaptation Fund's Partner

Adaptation Fund announces contribution to the 2023 GCA Local Adaptation Champions Awards

The Adaptation Fund announced its support to the 2023 GCA Local Adaptation Champions Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations from across the globe that are at the forefront of delivering innovative, inspiring, and scalable locally led efforts to build effective climate resilience among vulnerable communities.


2023 Award Categories

Capacity Building

This category includes innovations and initiatives that support a continuous and iterative process of learning for local communities, governments, and organizations. These innovations and initiatives should be based on established need from the participants and enable inclusive local decision-making that is sustained beyond project cycles, for instance by leaving an institutional legacy; facilitating skills for technical and soft institutional attributes (like collaborative leadership, trust, and network governance); and/or allowing local actors to autonomously increase their capacity and share skills over time. ​Examples include institutionalizing adaptation capacity in local organizations; support for peer-to-peer learning; and support for local experts and champions.

Business Adaptation Solutions

This category is for small and large businesses that have supported leadership by local communities and governments in adaptation efforts; helped address structural inequalities faced by women, youth, children, disabled, displaced, indigenous peoples and marginalized ethnic groups that make them more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; and/or developed and made easily available adaptation solutions or technologies that address local climate-related vulnerabilities.

Women in Leadership

This category is for local, national, or global woman leaders who design, champion, and/or lead adaptation and climate resilience efforts in and for local communities.  Applications are invited from, or on behalf of, women leaders at the local, national, or global level who have led in the design or implementation of efforts that demonstrably build climate resilience – particularly of the most vulnerable – within communities.

Innovation in Devolving Finance

This category is for organizations, projects, initiatives or programs using innovative models that provide flexible, long-term, patient and/or predictable funding for adaptation at the local level. The funding should be made available in ways that enable and support local determination of climate challenges, priorities, and solutions.

Award details and timeline



The Awards are open to any individual, organization, or group of partners worldwide, who have implemented or are in the process of implementing climate change adaptation/resilience interventions.



The call for applications will be open from 1-31 August 2023.



Applications will be ranked according to a points-based system based on five main criteria:

  • Effectiveness and community impact.

  • Scalability and achieved (or potential for) replication.

  • Devolution of decision-making, particularly by the most vulnerable.

  • Gender and social inclusion.

  • Expected use of Award money.

The first top 20 shortlisted applicants (5 from each category) will be nominated for the Awards and requested to provide additional information to support their entry.

Thereafter, a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will review the shortlisted candidates in their respective categories. The TAG will select two candidates per category, and a High-level Jury will make the final selection of winners.



20 nominees will benefit from publicity around their nomination for the Awards.

Four winners will receive a cash prize of €15,000 and be invited to an Award Ceremony at COP28 in Dubai, which will take place from 30 November to 12 December 2023.

Winners will also be sponsored by the Adaptation Fund and invited to participate in prominent speaking engagements at upcoming Adaptation Fund readiness events, including the Fund’s annual seminar for its national implementing entities, an interactive forum for capacity building and other learning-and-sharing events that bring together accredited implementing entities of the Fund. 

Winners will be required to provide a spending proposal of how they intend to use the cash prize and to report on their progress up to one year after the disbursement of the prize. DAI Global will support the monitoring of the activities listed in the spending proposal, through video calls, digital surveys, and requests for photos and video materials.



Download the English, Spanish, or French Guide.

Meet the 2022 winners

Meet the technical advisory group for 2023

Dr. Farhina Ahmed
Dr. Farhina Ahmed
Bangladesh Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Dr. Farina Ahmed has been Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change since May 22, 2022. In an illustrious 30-year career in government service, she has worked in the civil service in the capacities of Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, and Deputy Secretary in the Finance Division. She has been entrusted with many vital posts in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, and Field Administration. Dr. Ahmed is an officer in the Bangladesh Civil Service.

Shuchi Vora
Shuchi Vora
Global Resilience Partnership
Resilience Knowledge Coalition Lead

Shuchi is a resilience and adaptation professional with about a decade of experience in designing community-led approaches for droughts, floods, urban and rural resilience. Currently, she leads the Resilience Evidence Coalition and Youth Leadership initiatives at the Global Resilience Partnership where she is weaving a community of practice on resilience evidence and measurement. She has previously worked at The Nature Conservancy and WWF, and has a Master’s degree from Oxford.

Arghya Sinha Roy
Arghya Sinha Roy
Asian Development Bank
Principal Climate Change Specialist (Climate Change Adaptation)

Arghya is involved in the implementation of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) climate priorities and targets by supporting client governments in strengthening climate adaptation related policies, plans and investments and accessing climate finance. He has more than 19 years of international experience in the field of climate and disaster resilience, especially in the context of urban resilience, resilient infrastructure, community resilience and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. Arghya has led the development of ADB’s Community Resilience Partnership Program, a financing partnership facility to scale up investments in climate adaptation at the local level.

Anna Ballance
Anna Ballance
British High Commission in Dhaka
Senior Climate Change; Environment Advisor

Anna is a Senior Climate Change and Environment Adviser for the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. She has been based in Dhaka since 2019 but has also worked on adaptation, mitigation and environment projects in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean. She has also worked as a negotiator for several international environmental agreements. She has a Masters degree in Environmental Law.

Ivo Menzinger
Ivo Menzinger
Swiss Re
Managing Director, MENA Public Sector Solutions

Ivo is Swiss Re's Managing Director for public sector business across Europe, Middle East, and Africa and is based in Zurich.

Jana El-Horr
Jana El-Horr
The World Bank
Global Lead for Social Dimensions of Climate Change

Jana is the Global Lead for Social Dimensions of Climate Change at the World Bank. Jana has extensive experience working in South Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Middle East designing and implementing locally-led development projects that focus on the nexus of climate, inclusion, and resilience. Her technical expertise covers women’s economic empowerment, working in fragile and conflict affected contexts, and inclusive local economic development. Prior to the World Bank, Jana worked in Iraq and Lebanon on programs related to women’s empowerment, forced displacement, and reintegration of ex-combatants. Jana is a Lebanese national and holds a Ph.D. in conflict analysis from George Mason University and a bachelor’s in economics from the American University of Beirut.

Dr. Aditya Bahadur
Dr. Aditya Bahadur
The International Institute for Environment and Development, UK
Chair of the Research Strategy team and Principal Researcher

Aditya is Chair of the Research Strategy team and Principal Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development, UK . He has 18 years of experience in research, evaluation and practice of climate change and development. He has published extensively on these issues and his work has been cited widely, including by the IPCC. Previously he worked with the UK funded Action on Climate Today Programme based at Oxford Policy Management and with the Overseas Development Institute, UK as Research Fellow. He has an MA and a PhD in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. He completed his Postdoctoral Research at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York City and is the author of ‘Resilience Reset: Creating Resilient Cities in the Global South’ (Routledge, 2022).

Anju Sharma
Anju Sharma
The Global Center on Adaptation
Global Lead on Locally Led Adaptation

Anju is the Global Lead on Locally Led Adaptation at the Global Center on Adaptation. She has been Deputy Director of Oxford Climate Policy, and Head of the Policy and Publications Unit of the European Capacity Building Initiative. She is an Associate with the Stockholm Environment Institute and has been a Consultant with the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Visiting Fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development. Anju has previously worked with the UN Environment Programme in Kenya, Oxfam GB in the UK, and the Centre for Science and Environment in India. She has also worked as a Consultant for a number of international organizations, including the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Development Program.

Saliha Dobardzic
Saliha Dobardzic
The Adaptation Fund
Programming and Innovation Unit Lead and Senior Climate Change Specialist

Saliha is the Programming and Innovation Unit Lead and Senior Climate Change Specialist at the Adaptation Fund, where she oversees the programming of over half a billion dollars in funding annually and leads the policy work related to the administration of climate finance for adaptation, including innovation and locally-led action. Previously, she worked on adaptation, environmental, international waters, and integrated coastal zone management issues with the Global Environment Facility and The World Bank for over a decade. 

She has also supported the World Bank’s MENA climate change beam in devising and implementing the first corporate climate change strategy for the region, and the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction in support of mainstreaming climate change considerations in ex-ante disaster risk management. She is a co-author of a number of books, studies, and reports on climate change adaptation and other environmental issues, including “Time to Adapt: Insights from the Global Environment Facility’s Experience on Adaptation to Climate Change.” She is a recipient of several awards and distinctions and was recognized as one of “100 Women Leaders in Energy and Climate Change” by the White House in 2013.

Una May Gordon
Una May Gordon
Experienced Climate Change Specialist

Una is an experienced Climate Change professional who believes strongly that development is about people. Her public advocacy and promotion of women’s leadership in all spheres of life are unmatched. After years of working in the field of international development and with the private and public sectors across the Caribbean Region, she now spends her time as a consultant and senior climate change and resilience advisor to institutions and companies at global, regional, and national levels.

Nilu Puri Basnyat
Nilu Puri Basnyat
Country Representative, Nepal

Nilu is DAI’s country representative in Nepal, where she strengthens DAI’s positioning in and support for the development sector, facilitates project delivery, and works to mitigate risk. An experienced program manager and technical specialist in the governance, environment, and water sectors, she has 25 years of experience. As a technical expert she has strengthened Nepal’s ability to manage water resources for multiple uses and users, through climate change adaptation and the conservation of freshwater biodiversity; supported the Election Commission of Nepal to enhance its legal framework, organizational capacity, planning and conduct of elections, and delivery of voter education; supported peace and democracy in Nepal’s conflict-prone areas; and worked to create an enabling environment for private sector investment in hydropower development.

Habib Abubakar
Habib Abubakar
Islamic Development Bank
Senior Climate Change Specialist

Habib is a Senior Climate Change Specialist at the Islamic Development Bank Global Practices and Partnerships. In this role, he supports the bank in implementing its climate change action plan for 2020-2025 in its 57 member countries across the global south. He also co-leads the bank's engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and leads a technical assistance grant from the GCF Readiness window for Western Asia to unlock private finance for climate actions in some selected countries.