Fiji Case Study

Project Summary

The main objective of the Increasing the Resilience of Informal Urban Settlements project is to enhance the climate change resilience of informal urban settlements in multiple municipalities (1 city, 3 towns) in Fiji that are prone to disaster risks. UN Habitat, in partnership with the government of Fiji, successfully obtained funding for this project through the Adaptation Fund.

$USD 4.2 million
Project Value
Lautoka, Sigatoka, Nadi and Lami in Fiji
Project Geography
2018 - 2022
Project Timeline

SDG Goals

SDG 1: No PovertySDG 2: Zero HungerSDG 3: Good Health and Well-beingSDG 4: Quality EducationSDG 5: Gender EqualitySDG 6: Clean Water and SanitationSDG 7: Affordable and Clean EnergySDG 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthSDG 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureSDG 10: Reduced InequalitySDG 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesSDG 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionSDG 13: Climate ActionSDG 14: Life Below WaterSDG 15: Life on LandSDG 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsSDG 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goals

Case Study


Fiji is located in the Pacific Ocean’s tropical cyclone belt. The island nation experiences frequent cyclones (on average, two cyclones per year) and with them damaging winds, rain and storm surges. Besides cyclones, the country suffers from other extreme events associated with climate change such as extreme rainfall, flooding, droughts and temperature extremes as well as sea-level rise.


What We Did:

Through a feasibility study that undertook a careful analysis of the key risks, constraints and dependencies related to the project, the team was able to show to the Adaptation Fund investors that the potential for successful outcomes was high. The team closely studied the operational policies and guidelines for obtaining funding from AF and incorporated them into the project design. This included upholding

  • fiduciary risk management standards;
  • incorporating ESS / EHS / ESG and gender policies;
  • consulting relevant stakeholders.

In general, the team focused on strong upstream project preparation and clearly defining infrastructure sectors, as well as thoroughly analyzing the project’s potential impacts on the city’s and town’s economic, social, and environmental situation. The project was clearly connected to the city’s existing master plan and was able to obtain government support. The team aimed to minimize risk in every area possible.


What is the Follow Up?

After having received funding, the team are currently working towards:

  1. Strengthening institutional capacity at the city/town level for enhanced local climate response and community level resilience;
  2. Improving local (community/informal settlement) resilience through awareness of adaptation and climate risk reduction processes;
  3. Enhancing resilience of community level physical, natural and socio-economic assets and ecosystems;
  4. Strengthening knowledge management and communication so that stakeholders are informed of products and results and have access to these for replication.


What are the Outcomes?

  • Vulnerability assessment and action planning process to identify focus areas based on community and government priorities.
  • Construction of infrastructure leading to improved drainage, sanitation, roads, resilient housing and water supply for climate resilience.
  • Reduced vulnerability at municipal level to climate hazards and threats
  • Strengthened awareness and ownership of adaptation and climate risk reduction processes
  • Increased adaptive capacity of communities and increased ecosystem resilience in response to climate change and variability-induced stress


Key Takeaways:

Some of the key factors why this project was chosen was that it:

  • Demonstrated a strong understanding of the social, political, and economic environment of the different cities and the risks it was hoping to address
  • Worked closely with community partners as well as local and national governments
  • Was integrated into the official development plans and national strategies
  • Contributed to the strengthening of local capacity and national level priorities
  • Carefully examined institutional, financial, environmental and social risks that could hamper the project’s progress and proposed solutions


Further Financing Needs:

  • Municipal level activities include assessments and action planning but are not directly linked with funding. In order to ensure implementation of identified municipal priority actions, further funding will have to be identified – either through annual governmental budgeting process or links with external (climate) financing mechanisms.
  • The project has tremendous potential for scalability. Both the assessment and action planning process as well as the resilience building infrastructure interventions can be adapted and then replicated at a larger scale to cover more informal settlements (currently, the project works with 16 out of an estimated 269 informal settlements across Fiji) if adequate funding can be mobilized.