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Monitoring and evaluating adaptation

6.4 Using monitoring results to enhance the process of adaptation

An effective monitoring framework does not only include the setting up of indicators and their measurement, but also defines how to take up the monitoring results.

Local authorities can use monitoring results to revise and readjust their adaptation strategy/action plan, thus turning them into living documents for continuous and consistent adaptation planning and implementation. Secondly, monitoring the outcomes of adaptation actions gives local authorities insights on the effectiveness of their monitoring system and if they need any adjustment. Finally, evaluation results can be communicated to different stakeholders, from decision-makers to citizens, in order to inform and incentivise further action.

 Covenant of Mayors signatories commit to monitoring their adaptation actions every two years. They can choose to make their monitoring report publicly available on the Covenant of Mayors website to share their progress and any encountered obstacles with other signatories.

With a good monitoring framework local authorities can check the following:

  • are we doing the right things?;
  • are we doing things right?;
  • how is implementation progressing?; and
  • is the monitoring framework effective?’ (i.e. does the monitoring framework provide the information the local authority needs using a certain amount of resources).

The monitoring results enable local authorities to change the selection of adaptation actions, adjust how the actions are carried out and the monitoring system itself. Moreover, monitoring gives a helpful overview of the status of implementation of the different actions. All this information should feed into an update of the adaptation strategy/action plan and possibly into an adjustment of the monitoring framework.

Monitoring takes place periodically, most often every two years. When putting a monitoring framework in place, it is helpful to define alert and threshold mechanisms, so that local authorities can act quickly in case the expected outcomes of an adaptation action have negative effects, for example result in maladaptation.

Monitoring results can be used to inform and incentivize stakeholders to further undertake adaptation actions. It is crucial that information is shared in a manner that is easy to understand and is tailored to the target group. For example, monitoring results can be shared in the form of a report intended for the city council or other departments involved in adaptation, an event for citizens or a press release for the media.


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