Community Based Adaptation (CBA) is increasingly popular as an approach to support vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change. Impacts are already being felt by the pastoralist and farming communities in Ghana, Niger, Kenya and Mozambique, where the Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP) implemented by CARE International is working. Shorter and delayed rainfall seasons, droughts, unexpected floods, and more are challenging both their traditional mechanisms for maintaining resilient livelihoods in the face of external challenges and the effectiveness of development opportunities. Since early 2010, ALP has been developing and testing participatory approaches to CBA in 40 communities with 11 local governments and 8 local NGOs across the 4 countries. CARE International’s CBA framework has provided the basic unifying concept for the work. Realising the importance of adaptive capacity as a pre-condition for effective and sustainable adaptation, ALP is also working with the ACCRA local adaptive capacity framework. ALP has experienced both successes and challenges in facilitating and empowering communities to plan and implement adaptation actions which respond to their priorities and capacities. New approaches have emerged, particularly in accessing and using climate information and enabling vulnerable communities to work with probability and uncertainty so as to gain improved capacity for risk management and anticipatory decision making.