The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges in human history. Climate change brings global consequences that threaten the preservation and development of natural and human systems, causing enormous ecological, social and economic costs. The negative impacts of climate change severely affect developing countries and emerging economies in particular. At the same time, there are still opportunities to bring people and the environment into a sustainable and resilient state.
Climate and development are closely intertwined. As countries increasingly respond to the demanding impacts of climate change, evidence-based decision-making for climate change adaptation and mitigation has become ever more urgent. Effective monitoring, evaluation and learning is key for better and timely climate policies and resilience strengthening. Timely and methodologically sound evaluations of climate and development interventions support governments and development cooperation partners in improving their decision-making, especially with regard to the various uncertainties resulting from climate change.
However, evaluating climate mitigation and adaptation interventions faces a number of particular technical challenges. Key among them is an incomplete understanding of future changes in climate, socioeconomic and ecological systems, as well as the interactions between those changes. This is augmented by other challenges, such as difficulties attributing outcomes to specific interventions, shifting baselines and objectives on climate resilience, and long periods for outcomes and impacts of adaptation and mitigation interventions to unfold.
To cope with these challenges and to provide useful and up-to-date information for better policies and decision-making processes, evaluation increasingly needs more systematic and rigorous approaches to synthesize existing knowledge and to fill evidence gaps. The workshop refers to this responsibility drawing upon comprehensive experiences of the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval) in cooperation with international partners, including multilateral and bilateral evaluation units, as well as global evidence providers, partner countries and universities.
The workshop is interactive, using a sequence of lectures, case studies, practical group work, and exchange among instructors and participants. The participants will go through different modules on key issues of evaluation in the nexus of climate and development to design an evaluation project by the end of the workshop. Topics addressed include the implications for the evaluation of climate-relevant concepts such as resilience, vulnerability, mitigation and adaptation, loss and damage and transformational change. To this end, workshop participants will work with prominent interventions, including nature-based solutions, infrastructure (e.g. irrigation), climate risk insurance and access to green energy (solar power) as case studies for evaluations. Based on the introduction of relevant evaluation questions with regard to relevance, coherence, effectiveness, impact, sustainability and equity, the workshop will address cutting-edge and climate-responsive approaches, methods and tools, including different forms of evidence syntheses, advanced case studies analysis, including survey methodology, climate risk mapping and analysis, vulnerability assessments and geospatial evaluation. The instructors will also take a brief detour and look at relevant indicators for monitoring and evaluating climate change interventions.
The workshop aims to increase participants’ knowledge and skills in evaluating complex climate change and development interventions. After the workshop, the participants
- are aware of key climate-relevant concepts, types of interventions (projects), as well as their implications when commissioning or conducting (complex) evaluations;
- understand the basics of climate politics, especially through a lens of the role of evaluation in the UNFCCC CoP negotiations;
- know how to commission, design and conduct climate evaluations;
- have a good grasp of approaches to synthesize and incorporate existing knowledge into evaluation;
- have a good overview of intermediate and advanced data collection tools and analysis; and
- are familiar with applying concepts and approaches to evaluate of transformative and just climate interventions.
Evaluators and commissioners.
The course builds on the workshop “Evaluation at the Nexus of Environment and Development” by the Global Environment Facility, Independent Evaluation Office, and provides a deep dive into the evaluation of climate change and development evaluation. We therefore recommend the sequence of both workshops for evaluators and commissioners with a focus on “green evaluations” in order to get a comprehensive understanding of the most relevant topics in this space. Both courses recognize the importance of transformative change and the need for approaches to assess the transformative potential of interventions.
This is an intermediate-level workshop. It is intended for evaluators and commissioners who aim to expand their foundational understanding of the evaluation of both climate change mitigation and adaptation interventions or development evaluations in the context of increasing vulnerability or climate-related risks.
The workshop requires foundational knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods and designs for complex evaluations. For interactive group work, some first experiences in development projects and program and/or thematic evaluations are advantageous.