About us

The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) is part of the Climate Change Adaptation Program of the University of Notre Dame's Environmental Change initiative (ND-ECI). The ND-GAIN Country Index follows a data-driven approach to show which countries are best prepared to deal with global changes brought about by overcrowding, resource-constraints and climate disruption. The Index aims to unlock global adaptation solutions in the corporate and development communities to save lives and improve livelihoods while strengthening market positions. It informs strategic and operational decisions using data since 1995, to create a rank of 181 countries.

The Index moved to the University of Notre Dame in April 2013. It was formerly housed in the Global Adaptation Institute in Washington, D.C. The index is being periodically updated to reflect new data on and knowledge about adaptation.

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About the index

Two Key Dimensions to Adapt


Vulnerability measures a country's exposure, sensitivity and capacity to adapt to the negative effects of climate change. ND-GAIN measures overall vulnerability by considering six life-supporting sectors – food, water, health, ecosystem service, human habitat, and infrastructure.


Readiness measures a country’s ability to leverage investments and convert them to adaptation actions. ND-GAIN measures overall readiness by considering three components – economic readiness, governance readiness and social readiness.


ND-GAIN is computed through the following formula:

(Readiness index - Vulnerability index + 1)x50 = ND-GAIN

Overview Diagram

Website highlights

The website includes tools that allow the user to explore the indicators, sectors, components and also to carry out customized graphing of all ND-GAIN Index elements. The website will be updated continuously with more features and capabilities. The following video provides a general overview of the website and highlights important features.