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Foundations for Change
Using adaptive management to navigate uncertainty- Lessons from Year 3

Phase II of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (the Alliance) was launched in July 2018. Year 1, from July 2018 – June 2019, largely focused on setting up the internal systems and structures to achieve our broader objectives. To learn more about the Alliance and how we are set-up, please see our report, Foundations for Change: Lessons from Year 1.

This report presents lessons from Year 3 of Phase II of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance community engagement, learning, research, and advocacy work. The report focuses on how the Alliance structure and culture have allowed us to adaptively manage to ensure continued focus on flood resilience and progress toward our goals, while also addressing COVID-19 needs and concerns.

Enabled by the Z Zurich Foundation’s flexibility and the Alliance’s overall proactive programming approach, we continued to progress on our advocacy and programming in 2020. With the Alliance’s commitment to maintain our flood resilience engagement throughout the pandemic, we avoided fully pausing our programs and maintained our flood resilience focus. Our ability to identify pathways for achieving change that have co-benefits for flood resilience and COVID-19 have critically helped us to strengthen our relationships and credibility. Both are foundational to achieving change, as evidenced in previous Foundations for Change reports.

The report presents concrete recommendations for both donors and practitioners regarding why and how to proactively implement similar adaptive management elements in development, risk reduction, climate adaptation, and resilience work.


The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (2021). Foundations for Change: Using adaptive management to navigate uncertainty - Lessons from Year 3. Colorado, USA: ISET-International.

Funded by:

The Z Zurich Foundation

The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance is a multi-sectoral partnership focusing on finding practical ways to help communities in developed and developing countries strengthen their resilience to flood risk. Find out more: and 

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