The paper introduces the so-called climate change mainstreaming approach, where vulnerability and adaptation measures are assessed in the context of general development policy objectives. The approach is based on the application of a limited set of indicators. These indicators are selected as representatives of focal development policy objectives, and a stepwise approach for addressing climate change impacts, development linkages, and the economic, social and environmental dimensions related to vulnerability and adaptation are introduced. Within this context it is illustrated using three case studies how development policy indicators in practice can be used to assess climate change impacts and adaptation measures based on three case studies, namely a road project in flood prone areas of Mozambique, rainwater harvesting in the agricultural sector in Tanzania and malaria protection in Tanzania. The conclusions of the paper confirm that climate risks can be reduced at relatively low costs, but the uncertainty is still remaining about some of the wider development impacts of implementing climate change adaptation measures.