This IDS Bulletin aims to provide policy-relevant research insights for a wide range of actors interested in climate change adaptation. It brings together results from a recently completed interdisciplinary research project, the Linking Climate Adaptation Project, about how vulnerable communities might respond to the impacts of climate change. The overall goal of the project was to ensure that poor people benefit from adaptation processes, rather than bearing greater burdens, by, for example, having the risks caused by climate change shifted in their direction. The purpose was to provide a better understanding of how adaptation policies and institutional frameworks can support communities that are vulnerable to climate impacts. We hope the results presented here will help the disaster relief, development and climate change communities link together to meet the shared challenges that lie ahead.