M&E is vital for understanding the extent of progress against objectives and identifying uncertainties, gaps and barriers to progress in the short to longer-term, and should be carried out throughout the lifetime of an EbA project and beyond. It enables policy-makers, planners and practitioners to improve EbA actions by adjusting processes and targets to ensure that tangible benefits are realised over time. M&E provides critical evidence to support learning about ‘what works’ in EbA, to promote future investment, and to motivate uptake and involvement (e.g. by local communities).
Monitoring thereby refers to the systematic collection of data and/ or information on whether planned activities to implement an EbA measure are on track to inform any adjustments needed to processes and objectives. Evaluation on the other hand refers to an assessment of whether and how well objectives have been met and whether prescribed measures have been effective in reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience at a specific point in time.
M&E is especially important in the context of international commitments like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UNFCCC Paris Agreement and many others. However, the concrete results of locally implemented EbA measures and projects also need to be both integrated into national and sector-specific policy and planning frameworks and communicated to stakeholders.
The success of adaptation is often very context-dependent. Considering the long time horizons, complexity and uncertainty of adaptation processes, as well as the missing universal metrics for adaptation, it is quite evident that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to M&E in EbA.
In order to set up an appropriate, context-specific M&E system, the following key starting points for setting up an M&E framework need to be taken into consideration:
1.What is the specific purpose of the M&E?
2.Who should be using the information generated by M&E?
3.How will the information be disseminated?
4.What resources are available?
Beside the allocation of sufficient resources from the beginning, the access to relevant data must also be secured to enable a successful M&E system. The continuity of M&E systems is also an issue, which needs to be addressed at an early stage, e.g. by using participatory approaches.
Even though M&E of EbA can be quite challenging, once established it pays off by guaranteeing sustainability and best possible outcomes. Indicators of success may help reach these set goals. For further information as well as lessons-learned from local case studies, please visit:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Toolbox for Adaptation M&E, available at www.adaptationcommunity.net/monitoring-evaluation
GIZ learning brief on monitoring and evaluation (M&E): How to measure successes of Ecosystem-based Adaptation – Experiences and recommendations from the international EbA Community of Practice, available at https://www.adaptationcommunity.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/giz2017-en-learning-brief-measuring-success-eba-low-res.pdf
Authors: Sina Aileen Herrmann (GIZ) y Andrea Bender (GIZ)