The post-2015 development agenda requires policy coherence, where achievement of development goals in one sector does not undermine the achievement of the goals of another. It also recognises that cross-cutting issues like adaptation to climate change need to be mainstreamed across multiple sectors. This paper presents a policy analysis using the cases of Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. It analyses the water management and agricultural strategies and approaches identified in a variety of policies and plans. These include national sector policies for water and agriculture, National Development Plans, and climate change policies and strategies, including National Adaptation Programmes of Action and the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions submitted prior to the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties. It assesses the extent to which policies are coherent with one another with regard to their treatment of climate change adaptation using Qualitative Document Analysis. Findings identify that sector policies show some degree of cross-thematic coherence, in particular around their acknowledgement of the importance to address disaster management of floods and droughts. However, policy statements are typified by a relative lack of recognition of the need to develop supporting instruments and strategies that address climate adaptation needs over longer timeframes. Climate change policies explicitly call for significant investment in adaptation from the international community. Where coherence between sector and climate policies and strategies is strongest, the more recent climate policies largely repackage existing sectoral policy statements. These findings can be understood in the context of the uncertainty of climate change impacts for the longer term (for which a wider variety of adaptations are identified), alongside more event-driven disaster management planning where the impacts are more immediate and obviously evident. This prioritisation is also linked to development needs and the short-term nature of political cycles and economic gain. For climate-resilient policy decision-making to make further headway, we argue that governments need to embrace cross-sectoral planning more pro- actively in order to foster greater policy coherence and to deliver more climate resilient agriculture and water management.