Sreeja Nair
The Energy and Resources Institute
Evolution of approaches towards
evaluation of adaptive responses
The Evalua...
Complex Adaptive Systems
Evolution of evaluation of adaptive responses in Social-
Ecological Systems.
Adaptive policyma...
Social-Ecological Systems (SES), are complex adaptive systems experiencing
multiple cross-scale interactions ( Cash et al...
4
Responding to Structured and unstructured
problems
Hisschemoller and Hoppe,1989
Unstructured problems
are characterized ...
Understanding Uncertainty
• Adaptive responses may be elicited across a continuum of
uncertainty: moving from
Determinism,...
6
Evolution of empirical and theoretical
approaches
Single stress e.g.
climate change
Climate variability
and change
Multi...
7
Adaptive capacity
Biophysical vulnerability
• Soil degradation and cover
• Groundwater availability
Social vulnerability...
8
Regions with highest
climate sensitivity
and exposure are not
necessarily the most
vulnerable
Assessment of vulnerabilit...
Drought prone and flood prone basins selected to understand
differential vulnerability and adaptation options
Village se...
Weights and scores for
biophysical, social and
technological
vulnerability
10
A State Vulnerability
Index
Bid
Pune
Nashik...
Evaluating responses within the Development:
Adaptation Continuum
Adaptation needs often appear to being largely defined
f...
12
Example: Climate risk screening
Climate risk assessment as a tool/approach for reducing climatic
risks to developmental...
13
The ORCHID processSensitisation and
awareness-raising
Initial Portfolio
Screening
Strategic
Overview
Climate change
and...
14
Criteria for climate risk screening: comparison of scenarios
No programme scenario: without interventions
Programme ...
15
State level programme: Urban Services for the Poor
Identified climate
risks
Climate Risk management and adaptation
Curr...
16
Example: Trans-disciplinary
assessments
HighNoon : adaptation to changing water
resources availability in Northern Indi...
17
Example: HighNoon adaptation assessment
framework
www.eu-highnoon.org
Policies can promote continuous learning and adapt in response to
experience over time (Dewey 1927)
Holling 1978: Adapti...
19
Adaptive Policy
Ability of policy to
adapt to anticipated
conditions
(based on a good understanding
of cause and effect)
(...
Integrated and Forward-
looking Analysis
By identifying key factors that affect policy
performance and identifying scenari...
The Policy Wind Tunnel
22
Ranking Importance and Uncertainty
Importance
Uncertaintylow
high
high
Critical
Uncertainties
‘inevitables’
Keyfactors
Multi-stakeholder Deliberation
Expands ability of policy to incorporate a range of
anticipated conditions.
By providing ac...
Decentralization of
Decision-making
Decentralizing the authority and responsibility
for decision-making to the lowest effe...
Built-in Policy Adjustment
Some of the inherent variability in socio-
economic and ecological conditions can be
anticipate...
Formal Review and
Continuous Learning
Regular review, even when the policy is
performing well, and the use of well-designe...
1. Pre-defined time interval, e.g., once in a year
2. Monitoring of system performance indicators relating to
intended (an...
Promoting Variation
Given the complexity of most policy settings,
implementing a variety of policies to address the
same i...
• As an architect: designing and implementing a
variety of policy options
• As a facilitator: creating an enabling
environ...
Enabling Self-organization and
Social Networking
The capacity of individuals and groups to self-organize around
problems a...
Assessments have evolved from considering single stresses to
existence of multiple stresses in the real world
Need to br...
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  • given inter-connectedness of financial markets, international trade, ecosystems, etc….
  • Recap of the Aims and Objectives of the Process
    A rapid assessment to identify potential risks to programme goals and activities from climate-related impacts.
    To identify opportunities and options for integrating climate risk reduction and adaptation measures into DFID interventions.
    TO raise awareness among DFID staff and programme partners of climate risks and future climate change
    To identify strategic implications of climate change for DFID-India portfolio.
    To inform an ongoing risk screening process in DFID.
  • A water and agriculture focus, using the issues of coping with weather shocks and stresses as the policy context
  • There is a tendency to strive for an ‘optimal’ policy. But the future for which the optimal design is relevant is only one plausible future.
  • Pioneered by Royal/Dutch Shell in the 1970s in response to anticipated future fluctuations in oil prices
    “… using stories of the future to surface assumptions about business and political forces of the present”
    Shell learned that
    “by helping managers:
    clarify their assumptions,
    discover internal contradictions in those assumptions, and
    think through new strategies based on new assumptions,
    they gained a unique source of competitive advantage (Senge 1990)”
  • ghemawat interview

    1. 1. Sreeja Nair The Energy and Resources Institute Evolution of approaches towards evaluation of adaptive responses The Evaluation Conclave, 25 October 2010. Evaluating Adaptive Responses to Climate Change workshop
    2. 2. Complex Adaptive Systems Evolution of evaluation of adaptive responses in Social- Ecological Systems. Adaptive policymaking under uncertainty Summary 2 Overview
    3. 3. Social-Ecological Systems (SES), are complex adaptive systems experiencing multiple cross-scale interactions ( Cash et al. 1996) (‘complex’) and with time, adjusting to conditions of stress such as climate change (‘adaptive’) (Hughes et al 1997) SES do not rapidly change their form owing to several self- reinforcing mechanisms that try to maintain the original structure and function (Walker et al 2002). Under stress, SES assimilate the new conditions while trying to maintain their earlier critical processes, attempt to self-organize while learning and adjusting to the new conditions (Carpenter and Brock 2008). 3 Being ‘complex’ and ‘adaptive’
    4. 4. 4 Responding to Structured and unstructured problems Hisschemoller and Hoppe,1989 Unstructured problems are characterized by uncertainty and difference in perception about the problem, its cause and solution; boundaries of the problem are nebulous. YesNo Yes No Certainty about knowledge Agreement on perception about the problem Unstructured problem Moderately structured problem Moderately structured problem Structured problem
    5. 5. Understanding Uncertainty • Adaptive responses may be elicited across a continuum of uncertainty: moving from Determinism, TO Complete ignorance Walker et al 2010
    6. 6. 6 Evolution of empirical and theoretical approaches Single stress e.g. climate change Climate variability and change Multiple stresses Scenario- based modelling Indicator- based approaches Community interaction Source: TERI
    7. 7. 7 Adaptive capacity Biophysical vulnerability • Soil degradation and cover • Groundwater availability Social vulnerability • Agricultural workers and labourers • Literacy • Gender discrimination • Child mortality and fertility Technological vulnerability • Irrigation • Infrastructure Globalization vulnerability Climate change vulnerability Climate sensitivity (monsoon dependence and dryness) Trade sensitivity (port distance and import- sensitive crops) Example: Macro and micro assessments Impacts of climate change and globalization on Indian agriculture Source: TERI, 2003
    8. 8. 8 Regions with highest climate sensitivity and exposure are not necessarily the most vulnerable Assessment of vulnerability of Indian agriculture to ‘double exposure’ (climate change and globalization)- a case study (Source: TERI, 2003) Vulnerability profiles
    9. 9. Drought prone and flood prone basins selected to understand differential vulnerability and adaptation options Village selection: Irrigation & Infrastructure index Household-level surveys; Unit of analyses- land holding size Income Impact Index: Identification of significant variables that enable households to ‘maintain’ income levels between a normal and stress year 9 Example : Basin-level assessment Source: TERI – World Bank study, 2008
    10. 10. Weights and scores for biophysical, social and technological vulnerability 10 A State Vulnerability Index Bid Pune Nashik Dhule Solapur Akola Satara Gadchirol Yavatmal Jalgaon Ahmadnagar Thane Amravati Jalna Latur Sangli Nagpur Nanded Parbhani Buldana Chandrapu Bhandara Aurangabad Ratnagiri Kolhapur Raigarh Wardha Osmanabad Sindhudur Vulnerable Zones 2001 Maharastra Gross cropped area in Ha. (1991) 137400 - 271327 271328 - 578000 578001 - 856200 856201 - 1068700 1068701 - 1398300 Very Low Low Moderate High Very High Godavari river basin Extremely High No data BID PUNE NASHIK SOLAPUR THANE SATARA YAVATMAL JALGAON NANDED JALNA AHMADNAGAR AMRAVATI NAGPUR GADCHIROLI SANGLI DHULE BULDANA LATUR CHANDRAPUR AKOLA RATNAGIRI AURANGABAD RAIGARH KOLHAPUR WARDHA PARBHANI WASHIM OSMANABAD HINGOLI GONDIYA NANDURBAR BHANDARA SINDHUDURG MUMBAI (SUBURB) MUMBAI Vulnerable Zones 2001 Maharastra Gross cropped area in Ha. (2001) 181500 - 328200 328201 - 486100 486101 - 591900 591901 - 837400 837401 - 1327500 Very Low Low Moderate High Very High Godavari river basin Extremely High No data Source: TERI – World Bank study, 2008
    11. 11. Evaluating responses within the Development: Adaptation Continuum Adaptation needs often appear to being largely defined from a developmental perspective and mostly with reference to baseline vulnerabilities 11
    12. 12. 12 Example: Climate risk screening Climate risk assessment as a tool/approach for reducing climatic risks to developmental objectives and integrating adaptation options within developmental programmes at the national and sub-national levels
    13. 13. 13 The ORCHID processSensitisation and awareness-raising Initial Portfolio Screening Strategic Overview Climate change and disasters profile Adaptation options integrated Risk screening of future programming Multi criteria analysis of options Cost benefit analysis Climate change and disasters assessment Adaptation / Risk reduction options 1. Climate science 2. Vulnerability 3. Economic impacts Selects high risk projects Risk assessment and adaptation options Cost benefit analysis
    14. 14. 14 Criteria for climate risk screening: comparison of scenarios No programme scenario: without interventions Programme scenario: partial risk reduction due to programme implementation Programme plus scenario: risk reduction with additional components added within the present programme portfolio Climate-risk screening of projects Source: Tanner et al, 2007
    15. 15. 15 State level programme: Urban Services for the Poor Identified climate risks Climate Risk management and adaptation Current practices Additional opportunities KUSP MPUSP Urban flooding In- situ slum upgradation  Strengthening O and M  Comprehensive urban planning considering climatic risks Health risks due to contamination of water supplies O and M of existing water supplies and drainage systems Enabling ULBs to develop and follow environmental standards for sanitation and drinking water  Development of a spatial and temporal database for water quality surveillance  Raising plinth level of toilets  Better insulation of toilet pits to reduce seepage into the soil and groundwater Source: Tanner et al, 2007
    16. 16. 16 Example: Trans-disciplinary assessments HighNoon : adaptation to changing water resources availability in Northern India with Himalayan glacier retreat & changing monsoon pattern
    17. 17. 17 Example: HighNoon adaptation assessment framework www.eu-highnoon.org
    18. 18. Policies can promote continuous learning and adapt in response to experience over time (Dewey 1927) Holling 1978: Adaptive policies and responses in SES Adaptive policies are ‘designed to test clearly formulated hypotheses about the behaviour of an ecosystem being changed by human use’ (Lee 1993) Most policies involve Complex Adaptive Systems hence conventional approaches based on single-model projections and optimization will produce static policies catered towards only the best estimate (Bankes 2002). Adaptive policies -‘not only optimal for a best estimate future but robust across a range of plausible futures’ (Walker and Marchau 2003). 18 Evolution of adaptive policy concepts Swanson and Bhadwal, Creating Adaptive Policies: IISD-IDRC-TERI 2009
    19. 19. 19
    20. 20. Adaptive Policy Ability of policy to adapt to anticipated conditions (based on a good understanding of cause and effect) (based on a good understanding of system dynamics and complexity) Ability of policy to adapt to unanticipated conditions Adaptive policies are ‘designed to function more effectively under complex, dynamic and uncertain conditions’. Swanson and Bhadwal, Creating Adaptive Policies: IISD-IDRC-TERI 2009 20
    21. 21. Integrated and Forward- looking Analysis By identifying key factors that affect policy performance and identifying scenarios for how these factors might evolve in the future, policies can be made robust to a range of anticipated conditions, and indicators developed to help trigger important policy adjustments when needed.
    22. 22. The Policy Wind Tunnel 22
    23. 23. Ranking Importance and Uncertainty Importance Uncertaintylow high high Critical Uncertainties ‘inevitables’ Keyfactors
    24. 24. Multi-stakeholder Deliberation Expands ability of policy to incorporate a range of anticipated conditions. By providing access to different perspectives, different sources of knowledge, and different ways of knowing in order to consider new information and new views of the problem. Rapid adjustment and response to unanticipated conditions. By building the social cohesion, shared vision and capacity for collective action
    25. 25. Decentralization of Decision-making Decentralizing the authority and responsibility for decision-making to the lowest effective and accountable unit of governance, whether existing or newly created, can increase the capacity of a policy to perform successfully when confronted with unforeseen events.
    26. 26. Built-in Policy Adjustment Some of the inherent variability in socio- economic and ecological conditions can be anticipated, and monitoring of key indicators can help trigger important policy adjustments to keep the policy functioning well.
    27. 27. Formal Review and Continuous Learning Regular review, even when the policy is performing well, and the use of well-designed pilots throughout the life of the policy to test assumptions related to performance, can help address emerging issues and trigger important policy adjustments.
    28. 28. 1. Pre-defined time interval, e.g., once in a year 2. Monitoring of system performance indicators relating to intended (and unintended) policy outcomes 3. Stakeholder feedback  4. Availability of critical new information 28 Triggers for a Review
    29. 29. Promoting Variation Given the complexity of most policy settings, implementing a variety of policies to address the same issue increases the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes. Diversity of responses also forms a common risk-management approach, facilitating the ability to perform efficiently in the face of unanticipated conditions.
    30. 30. • As an architect: designing and implementing a variety of policy options • As a facilitator: creating an enabling environment for variation • As a learner: studying from the past and current and adapting in the process Promoting variation: Multiple roles of a policymaker 30
    31. 31. Enabling Self-organization and Social Networking The capacity of individuals and groups to self-organize around problems and stresses affects the ability of communities to adapt to changing conditions. Ensuring that policies do not undermine existing social capital; creating forums that enable social networking; facilitating the sharing of good practices; and removing barriers to self-organization, strengthen the ability of stakeholders to respond to unanticipated events in a variety of innovative ways. 31
    32. 32. Assessments have evolved from considering single stresses to existence of multiple stresses in the real world Need to bring in adaptive thinking into empirical and theoretical approaches for evaluation in an increasingly complex, uncertain and dynamic world. Need to capture heterogeneity of responding systems, innovation and feedback into assessment approaches. Need to evaluate adaptive responses with respect to the ‘changing baseline’ Adaptive decision-making approaches can enable evaluation of adaptive responses under uncertainty. Summary 32

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