Strengthening the Resilience of Small-Scale Rural Infrastructure (SSRI) and Local Government Systems to Climate Risk

About the SRRI project

A drainage canal project in Ermera district. Photo: Local Governance Support Programme/UNDP TL-UNCDF A drainage canal project in Ermera district. Photo: Local Governance Support Programme/UNDP TL-UNCDF

In Timor-Leste 70 percent of its 1.1 million people live in rural areas. Many of its communities are located in mountainous and coastal areas that are highly vulnerable to climate risks such as floods, droughts, erosion and landslides. These conditions have made it difficult to develop basic infrastructure, such as roads and water supply systems, directly impacting both community livelihoods and national development goals.

The UNDP Timor-Leste Strengthening the Resilience of Small Scale Rural Infrastructure and Local Government Systems to Climatic Variability and Risks (SSRI) Project is working to increase the climate resilience of rural infrastructure for communities that are most vulnerable to extreme climate events and climate risks in the three pilot districts of: Ermera; Baucau and Liquica. The SSRI has been developing the capacity of these communities and local administrations to integrate climate resilience into the development of local infrastructure. These projects focus mainly on four categories of infrastructure including:

  • Water supply systems

  • Rural access roads and bridges

  • Reservoirs and irrigation systems

  • Stabilizing river banks/flood protection

The SSRI has been training communities on the use of participatory planning approaches to increase the climate resilience of new infrastructure. This bottom-up planning process helps to identify local needs and it also creates a sense of ownership and participation in the implementation of local solutions.  One of the Government’s primary objectives for the SSRI project is to learn how to mainstream climate change resilience into national policies and strategies for local level planning so that these lessons can be applied to all municipalities across the country.


Project results

  • Design and construction of 20 climate resilient rural infrastructure projects benefiting over 100,000 people
  • Support 10 Civil Society Organizations to implement soil-bioengineering approaches to strengthen existing rural infrastructure
  • Provide complementary soil and land management measures over an estimated 5,000 hectares of land
  • Support the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment to develop key policies such as the new National Climate Change Policy for Timor-Leste
  • Support the Ministry of State Administration in the formulation of its National Capacity Development Strategy and Action Plan for Municipalities
  • Conduct Gender Analysis and formulate a roadmap for gender mainstreaming in the PDIM planning process for small scale rural infrastructure
  • Capacity development provided in at least 30 villages for identifying potential climate risks and planning and prioritising proposed new infrastructure through the project’s Climate Change Adaptation Planning for Rural Infrastructure Development (CCAPRID) initiative
  • Supporting the development of a new website for the Centre for Climate Change and Biodiversity ( to share data about climate resilience across different sectors in Timor-Leste



Total budget Donors
US$4.9 million UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Timor-Leste 
Go to UNDP Global