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Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN)

Program Locations: India: Gorakhpur, Indore, and Surat; Indonesia: Bandar Lampung and Semarang; Thailand: Chiang Rai and Hat Yai; Vietnam: Can Tho, Da Nang, Quy Nhon
Project Duration: May 2008–December 2013
Project Lead: Marcus Moench, President (Phase 1, Phase 2); Ken MacClune, Senior Staff Scientist (Phase 2); Richard Friend, Senior Staff Scientist (Phase 3)


ACCCRN is a network of ten core cities in India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, experimenting with a range of activities that will collectively improve the ability of the cities to withstand, prepare for, and recover from the projected impacts of climate change. (



Project Overview

The ACCCRN program is a unique initiative to understand and support urban areas in building climate resilience. The program’s work in cities in India (Surat, Indore, and Gorakhpur), Indonesia (Bandar Lampung and Semarang), Vietnam (Da Nang, Can Tho, and Quy Nhon), and Thailand (Hat Yai and Chiang Rai) provides practical insights into the processes and outcomes that contribute to urban climate resilience. The ACCCRN program was a new and innovative approach for program partners. City representatives worked with diverse local stakeholders in novel ways to ensure that outcomes were directly relevant.

ISET-International’s role in the ACCCRN program included:

  • Collaboratively developing a conceptual framework, the Climate Resilience Framework, to guide engagement throughout the program.
  • Locating and communicating climate information and working with city partners to help them understand the implications those changes could have for their cities.
  • Conceptually grounding and applying approaches to shared learning.
  • Providing the technical assistance and capacity building support for vulnerability analyses, sector studies, pilot projects, and development of city resilience strategies.
  • Supporting development and implementation of resilience actions.
  • Working with cities to develop and apply locally-relevant resilience indicators.

The capacity to learn and reorganize in the face of future uncertainty lies at the heart of ISET-International’s understanding of resilience. As such, a critical role for ISET-International has been working with country coordinators and city stakeholders to assess and reflect on the process of building resilience. This has involved targeted capacity building and learning activities, participatory documentation and write shops, city-to-city learning exchanges, and collaborative production of a range of documentary products.

  • Phase 1: ISET-International provided support to ARUP in city selection and initial engagement and worked with the Rockefeller Foundation and Phase 1 ACCCRN partners to develop an initial conceptual approach for the program.

  • Phase 2: ISET-International oversaw city engagement in all ten ACCCRN cities, developed a conceptual framework for engagement, provided technical and conceptual guidance to on-the-ground implementing partners and city partners, managed the budget, and, through a participatory writing process, produced peer-reviewed and grey literature papers documenting the engagement.

  • Phase 3: ISET-International supported engagement with government officials from multiple departments, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and community organizations to foster a process of learning along with an assessment of urban climate vulnerabilities and planning for building urban climate resilience. In Gorakhpur, Can Tho, Da Nang, and Quy Nhon, ISET-International worked closely with city partners to develop a range of city-level intervention projects (disbursed through and managed by country coordinator organizations) for building urban climate change resilience. In Thailand, ISET-International provided technical support to the Thailand Environment Institute and city partners in Chiang Rai and Hat Yai to strategize resilience building efforts and to document local level learning.

Core Program Activities

  • Provision of concepts, methods, and tools for urban climate resilience planning: Coached country coordinators to convening diverse stakeholders and facilitate “shared learning processes” at the city level; supported vulnerability assessments, specific sector studies, pilots projects, and City Resilience Strategies; developed and refined the Climate Resilience Framework, a conceptual approach for building urban climate resilience; developed a suite of Climate Resilience Planning Training Modules, with co-funding from USAID's Mekong-Building Resilience of Asian Cities (M-BRACE) program.
  • Targeted technical assistance: Provided targeted technical assistance with a focus on resilience, assessing the dynamics of climate vulnerability and urbanization, climate change information, hydrology, urban planning, and cost-benefit analysis of climate resilience investments.
  • Capacity building and learning: Provided regular coaching and mentoring for country coordinators in all four countries, including building their capacity to reflect critically on program learning—assumptions, outcomes, and next steps to improve their work. This support has included the joint development of policy reviews on urban planning to support strategies for integrating climate change into city planning.
  • Development and capacity development for city resilience indicators: Developed “city resilience indicators” as a tool for city governments and other stakeholders to assess progress towards urban resilience, linked to normal city planning and monitoring processes. Worked closely with country coordinators and city partners to implement indicators in locally relevant and useful ways.
  • Development and dissemination of knowledge products: Developed joint research and knowledge products including publications in peer-review journals, accessible publications, op-eds, blog posts, video, etc.

Professional Staff and Associates Involved

ISET-International staff from all four ISET-International offices

Stephen Tyler, Senior Associate, Canada

Sarah O. Reed, Urban Programs Advisor, Vietnam

Liz Fabjer, Senior Social Development Adviser, DFID, U.K.

Senior Economist, ISET-Pakistan

Fawad Khan, Senior Economist, ISET-Pakistan

Sarah Opitz-Stapleton, Senior Associate Scientist, USA

Marcus Moench, President Richard Friend, Senior Staff Scientist Ken MacClune, Senior Staff Scientist Ngo Thi Le Mai, Country Coordinator Nghiem Phuong Tuyen, Technical Staff Tran Van Giai Phong, Technical Lead Sarah O. Reed, Urban Programs Advisor, Vietnam Nguyen Anh Tho, Program Officer Pimolwan “Petch” Singhawong, Program Administrator Sonam Bennett-Vasseux, Senior Management Advisor, France Maria Fernanda Enriquez, Grants Manager Justin Henceroth, Research Associate - See more at:

The materials below are outputs from this project. All materials can also be viewed under the main menu item "RESOURCES".


This project was funded by and in partnership with:


The Rockefeller Foundation


Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG)

TARU Leading Edge Private Ltd.

National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Study (NISTPASS)

Challenge to Change

Thailand Environmental Institute (TEI)

Mercy Corp

APCO Worldwide



The cities of: Gorakhpur, Indore, and Surat, India; DaNang, CanTho, and QuyNhon, Vietnam; Chiang Rai and Hat Yai, Thailand; and Bandar Lampung and Semarang, Indonesia