The impacts of climate change are experienced locally, so adaptation tends to occur at a local level, even if the activity you are evaluating operates at an international or national scale.
Questions to consider
- Who needs to be engaged in the evaluation process, at what point and how?
- Would engaging particular groups help you to better understand your assumptions or to explore unexpected or unintended outputs and outcomes?
- Could you incorporate adaptation into existing engagement processes?
An effective evaluation will engage a range of stakeholders, and might include policy makers; project and programme staff; direct beneficiaries and the broader community who may be indirectly affected by the project. The wider the range of stakeholders involved in the process, the more likely you are to gain a complete picture of the vulnerability of different groups and how to make adaptation activities relevant to their needs. Issues of social justice and unequal distribution of benefits and disadvantages will be also identified and can be addressed.
Participation and participatory methods
There are a number of useful articles on participatory methods to help engage communities in adaptation and in the evaluation process.
Participatory monitoring and evaluation is a partnership approach where stakeholders actively engage in developing the evaluation and all phases of its implementation (Zukoski & Luluquisen, 2002).
This approach requires a significant commitment from those involved but can be extremely useful in:
- Identifying locally relevant evaluation questions
- Empowering participants
- Building capacity
- Improving organisational learning
- Extending learning beyond traditional parameters (ensuring the learning from the evaluation reaches and is used by a wider audience)
- Dealing with blockages in local implementation
- Addressing questions about effects on beneficiaries
- Gathering information and views from stakeholders