Monitoring and evaluation
6.1 What approaches for monitoring and evaluation can I apply?
In the context of scaled up funding for climate change adaptation, it is more important than ever to ensure the effectiveness, equity, and efficiency of adaptation interventions. Robust monitoring and evaluation is an essential part of this, both to ensure that the prospective benefits of interventions are being realised and to help improve the design of future interventions. Provisions to monitor and evaluate selected adaptation options need to focus on the outcomes of implemented adaptation activities, i.e. how effectively they respond in practice to reduce identified risks and enhance climate resilience. Monitoring and evaluating responses are also important to avoid potential maladaptive developments.
It is important to distinguish between:
- Progress Indicators, which assess improvements in adaptive capacity in the areas of climate-resilient livelihoods, disaster risk reduction, local capacity development and address underlying causes of vulnerability. Indicators should examine changes in the policy and institutional environment that create opportunities for adaptation.
- Performance indicators, which measure what has been achieved over the years in terms of adaptation.
To enable a proper M&E a combination of indicators and an active and sustained engagement of stakeholders, the public and private sectors, civil society as well as an effective management of knowledge is necessary. The process for M&E can be made manageable through careful preparation. Thus, it is important to put the emphasis on the following:
- Tailor the M&E approach to the type and scale of the activity: While for some objectives and adaptation options core indicators (for process and outcome) can be established, it might be appropriate for others to focus on an aggregate assessment.
- Acknowledge trade-offs: M&E approaches need to be proportional to the investment. Recognise and reflect on the trade-offs in the design of the M&E approach and consider whether these can these be justified.
- Define clearly the baselines as reference for M&E: Carefully defined baselines are essential to measure what has been achieved through implementation. Baselines need to be defined for all components of M&E, including assumptions for autonomous adaptation taking place without any intervention.
- Consider the unintended and unexpected: The M&E approach should not simply consider ‘did we do what we said we would do?' but be sufficiently flexible to explore the unintended and unexpected. This may be where some of the most important adaptation lessons can be learnt.
- Communicate and agree on the purpose for monitoring and evaluating: There are numerous reasons that might drive M&E efforts, including a need to account for public funds, to learn what works (or not) and why; to track progress; to ensure equity and social justice; or to measure efficiency and effectiveness. All are equally valid, but it is important to acknowledge the tensions and synergies between these purposes.
Engage and involve affected stakeholders: All stakeholders with a role and responsibility for implementation need to be part of the M&E process. Early stakeholder involvement will ensure continuous monitoring of their adaptation activities throughout the implementation phase. Engagement with stakeholders can also help with gathering relevant data for M&E.
EU City-specific information
- Five steps to manage your climate risks - A Guide for Public Bodies in Scotland
- The Integrated Management for Local Climate Change Response: Capacity Development Package
- NordRegio, ‘Climate Change Emergencies and European Municipalities: Guidelines for Adaptation and Response’
- Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change - Guidelines for Municipalities
- Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 - Transforming cities in a changing climate
- Monitoring & evaluating climate change adaptation at local and regional levels
- Methods and Tools for Adaptation to Climate Change - A Handbook for Provinces, Regions and Cities
- Climate-Friendly Cities: A Handbook on the Tracks and Possibilities of European Cities in Relation to Climate Change.
- Adaptation Compass
EU General information
- AdaptME toolkit - Adaptation Monitoring & Evaluation
- Twelve reasons why climate change adaptation M&E is challenging
- Making Adaptation Count, Concepts and Options for Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Adaptation
- Learning to ADAPT: monitoring and evaluation approaches in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction – challenges, gaps and ways forward
- Guidelines on developing adaptation strategies
- MEDIATION Toolbox
International information for cities
- Synthesis report on methods and tools for adaptation planning processes addressing ecosystems, human settlements, water resources and health, and good practice and lessons learned linking national and local adaptation
- Changing Climate, Changing Communites: Guide and Workbook for Municipal Climate Adaptation
- Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Adaptation - Methodological Approaches
- Adapting to Climate Change: Local areas' action
- New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report Chapter 6: Indicators and Monitoring
- Resilient Cities Connect