The concept of climate compatible development (CCD) is increasingly employed by donors and policy makers seeking 'triple-wins' for development, adaptation and mitigation. While CCD rhetoric is becoming more widespread, analyses drawing on empirical cases that present triple-wins are sorely lacking. We address this knowledge gap. Drawing on examples in rural sub-Saharan Africa, we provide the first glimpse into how projects that demonstrate triple-win potential are framed and presented within the scientific literature. We identify that development projects are still commonly evaluated in terms of adaptation or mitigation benefits. Few are framed according to their benefits across all three dimensions. Consequently, where triple-wins are occurring, they are likely to be under-reported. This has important implications, which underestimates the co-benefits that projects can deliver. A more robust academic evidence base for the delivery of triple-wins is necessary to encourage continued donor investment in activities offering the potential to deliver CCD.