Due to inequalities of innovation capacity among nations, climate technologies’ minimizing greenhouse gas emissions require deliberate interventions for adoption and diffusion in developing countries. Aid projects of international development organizations have long served the function of system builders for climate technologies through demonstration projects or barrier removal activities.

Emerging transition literature has come up with theories of how project-level niche experiments gradually affect landscape settings through bottom-up evolution. The activities of the aid projects on climate technologies match the posited roles of niche experiments nurturing with the co-evolution of technology, user practices and regulatory structures.

Familiarization in this paper is defined as the non-prioritization of climate technology in a country’s Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) document. It was found that increasing project duration lowers the chance of technology’s inclusion in TNA, while higher project cost increased the odds of inclusion. Given the time-consuming nature of capacity building over multiple fronts, the effectiveness of future projects depends on donors’ ability to commit aid over multiyear periods to sustain scale-up.