Examples of Our Work

Catholic Relief Services

Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative in CRS Countries

The ND-GAIN score is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100 with higher scores indicating that a country is less vulnerable and more ready.

Water Vulnerability in CRS Countries


The exposure to the water risks is measured by the projection of precipitation and temperature. The sensitivity of the population to the water vulnerability is measured by water usage and the mortality among 5 year-olds of water-borne diseases. Other factors taken into consideration are the rate of population with access to improved water supply and sanitation. The sub-index is calculated on a scale from 0 to 1 with one being the most vulnerable.

ND-GAIN developed a country analysis of Burundi for Catholic Relief Services. The team also recently created a country analysis of Bangladesh. These studies illustrate the utilization of ND-GAIN as an assessment tool that highlights areas in dire need of improvement so a nation can adapt and cope with the current and future effects of climate change and other challenges.


Business On The Frontlines

The University of Notre Dame’s Business On The Frontlines (BOTFL) course brings Mendoza MBA students to countries recovering from war or violent conflict to examine the role of business in restarting economic growth. ND-GAIN scores suggest current BOTFL are some of the least ready, most vulnerable in the world.


Relative Resilience Around the Globe

ND-GAIN analysis indicates it will take world’s poorest countries more than one century to reach the level of climate change resilience of the richest countries, at current rates. The data show that the ND-GAIN Index is more than just a ranking of countries, rather it can clearly help decision-makers determine global, regional and national priorities.


World Economic Forum

ND-GAIN led research for the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Climate Change report Climate Adaptation: Seizing the Challenge. The report offers the latest thinking in the field of climate adaptation measurement and financing.

ND-GAIN also participated in the World Economic Forum on East Asia: Informing Green & Climate Resilient Investment 


Designing Adaptation Impact Evaluations in Mozambique

ND-GAIN collaborated with the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) and the Universidade Católica de Moçambique (UCM) to assess the impacts of early-warning systems for climate-related disasters in Mozambique

Funded by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), the research consortium designed a study to evaluate the impacts of Community-based Disaster Management Committees (CLGRCs) and early-warning systems to show what and how interventions lead to increased climate resilience, and explore the degree of relevance and effectiveness of interventions across multiple sectors of the human and natural environment. 


SME Business Resiliency and Local Adaptation Data

With funding from the John Templeton Foundation in 2012 and 2013, ND-GAIN completed the Mexico-based Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Resilience Project, resulting in heightened awareness of climate adaptation options among SME leaders as well as a template for future adaptation knowledge-sharing, supply chain research and information-gathering in other regions. 


ND-GAIN Infrastructure Analysis for US Government


ND-GAIN provided the US Government with a comparison of Infrastructure vulnerability trends spanning the last two decades for the US, Canada and Mexico.

Of the three countries, the US has the highest Infrastructure vulnerability score (most vulnerable), although by a negligible margin. The analysis gave credit to the stronger infrastructure and lower population density of the US, especially compared to Mexico, in allaying vulnerability; despite having the most population living under 5m above sea level, the US is least vulnerable to change in sea level rise impacts.


Overseas Development Institute 

Overseas Development Institute used the vulnerability score of the ND-GAIN Country Index in its evaluation of international development climate finance released at COP20.  Climate Finance: Is it Making a Difference? 

ODI also recenetly used ND-GAIN data in it's paper: Scaling up international support for adaptation: Productive safety nets and reimbursable debt service.


Green Climate Fund

The Green Climate Fund used ND-GAIN to evaluate the global concentration of poverty by geography alongside vulnerability to climate change in its report, Analysis of the Expected Role and Impact of the Green Climate Fund


Standard & Poors

Due to the increased likelihood of climate-change driven extreme weather occurrences, Standard & Poors evaluated financial risk in 119 countries around the world and used the ND-GAIN Country Index in its report, Climate Change is a Global Mega-Trend for Sovereign Risk.

Climate Investment Fund

ND-GAIN indicators were used by the the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) sub-committee responsible for overseeing the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR). CIF was established "to assist developing countries to integrate climate resilience into development planning." The sub-committee proposed a selection process including ND-GAIN's Vulnerability and Readiness scores for assessing new candidate countries' eligibility


Africa Growth & Vulnerability: Consequence of Chinese Investment

In this study, funded by a small grant from the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative, data is used from the World Bank Doing Business Index, other metrics in ND-GAIN, and China aid data to test if Chinese investments lead to socio-economic gains in Sub-Saharan countries. This study asks if there is a relationship between Foreign Direct Investment, a factor of ND-GAIN readiness, and increases in a country's capacity, a factor of ND-GAIN vulnerability. Early data suggests that social development may not have improved with investment, though this may change with more time. Authors: Emily Block, Kerri Citterbart Martin, Todd Moss

UNFCCC's Technology Needs Assessment

ND-GAIN provided advice to the UNFCCC's technology needs assessment (TNA) for climate change, which integrates economic, environmental and social aspects.  View TNA Report

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 

ND-GAIN referenced by United States Government in determining indicators and measures for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Visualization of ND-GAIN Data Regions, Trends & Radius

Visualization prepared by University of Notre Dame Associate Professor, Chaoli Wang showcasing ND-GAIN countries over 18 years based on regions, trends & radius.

Caring for Climate Report


UNEP Adaptation Gap Report

Dr. Ian Noble, ND-GAIN Scientific Advisor, wrote the chapter in the United Nations Environment Programme's Adaptation Gap Report. He authored: A framework for identifying and measuring adaptation gaps.

Supply Chain Climate Risk Management

FourTwentySeven's country risk analysis utilizes ND-GAIN indicators, providing unparalleled insights into a country’s vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges in combination with its readiness to improve resilience. 


Young African Leaders Initiative Fellows

The University of Notre Dame was chosen by the U. S. Department of State to host 25 Washington Fellows as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative. ND-GAIN trained YALI fellows in climate adaptation risk and opportunity and collaborated on outreach to other stakeholders in their countries.  


Climate Knowledge Brokers Manifesto

ND-GAIN was interviewed and edited the Climate Knowledge Brokers Manifestoa milestone publication and call for joint action to meet the massive climate knowledge challenges ahead in the post-Paris world.


Big data has big potential for applications to climate change adaptation

ND-GAIN examines how “big data” can inform adaptation research and decision-making and outline what’s needed from the adaptation community to maximize the capacity to collect and analyze massive amounts of data in the climate change field. The full PNAS paper can be viewed here.


A global assessment of adaptation investment from the perspectives of equity and efficiency

Following the 2003 investment by the Least Developed Countries Fund, the ND-GAIN team examines if equity and efficiency were relevant factors in the allocation of these resources. This article quantitatively interrogates—through the lens of public fund allocation—the roles of vulnerability and readiness in shaping adaptation investment decisions. The full paper can be viewed here.


Adaptation and poverty reduction in Mozambique: an opportunity for developing countries to lead

There is currently a lack of information about how to simultaneously address climate change and poverty. Climate change challenges provide an opportunity for those impacted most to come up with new and innovative technologies and solutions. This article uses an example from Mozambique where local and international partners are working side-by-side, to show how developing countries can simultaneously address climate change and poverty reduction using an ecosystem-based adaptation approach. The full article can be viewed here.