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Entry point V

Monitoring and evaluation

Entering the adaptation learning cycle at the stage of monitoring and evaluation of adaptation requires to monitor the implementation process and the outcomes achieved, to evaluate what was done and to learn from the experiences gained. Adaptation has a number of features that make it challenging to evaluate including developing appropriate indicators, baselines and targets given the longer time-horizon of many adaptation initiatives. Monitoring and evaluation tools can be used to identify good practices and learn from less effective approaches.

The purpose of monitoring and the principles underlying it will act as a guide to the design of the monitoring plan, the kind of information being sought and the nature of the approach used.

These could thus cover a number of aspects, such as:

  • progress in the achievement of stated tasks
  • whether the tasks fulfil the aims of the adaptation initiative including addressing questions such as 'are the tasks in the adaptation plan leading to a reduction in vulnerability to climate hazards', as appropriate
  • the functioning of the team and individuals within it
  • engagement of other people in the process
  • stakeholders perspective on the nature of that engagement (process and content)
  • how well learning is being captured and brought into the process to inform next steps

Regular, on-going checking of different aspects of the project is important to keep the project on track and capture surprise or unanticipated changes as they arise. Danny Burns, in his account of running systemic action research approaches, suggests asking the following questions at each new stage of a process (Burns, 2010):

  • How is it going? Are there issues arising that need our attention?
  • Are we still on track with our underlying (research) purposes?
  • Do our purposes need to alter?
  • What new questions do we need to ask?
  • What new inquiries do we need to open up?
  • What new data do we need to collect?
  • What new action do we need to take?
  • What practices and methods do we need to use at this stage?
  • What outputs or feedback do we need at this stage (if any)?

No sophisticated tools or methods are required to do this although some of the visual, Participatory Learning and Action tools (see the Toolbox section on Participatory evaluation tools) may help in drawing out more tacit knowledge, sharing understanding and prioritising areas for further inquiry.

Entry point

  • You have implemented adaptation action(s). You now want to monitor and evaluate any outputs and outcomes, learn from this and implement the learning in future plans.
This is what you know or have done:
  • Adaptation actions have been carried out (this can include activities that build capacity and have an adaptation component).