Good Practice Study on Principles for Indicator Development, Selection, and Use in Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation

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The Independent Evaluation Office of the Global Environment Facility (GEF IEO) has undertaken - on behalf of the Climate-Eval community of practice - a Good Practice Study on Indicator Development, Selection and Use Principles for Climate Change Adaptation M&E. This study identifies and addresses key challenges concerning M&E for CCA. It does so by documenting good practices and good practice principles on the development, selection, and use of indicators used in the M&E of adaptation interventions.

The study also emphasizes the importance of evaluative evidence supporting adaptation-related policymaking. Lessons learned and findings from evaluations can inform the direction of future policies. To capitalize on that opportunity, the report provides principles that can serve as guidance for both policymakers and evaluators in moving in a common and mutually supportive direction; one that maximizes collaborative evidence-based policy development.

One of the main conclusions of the study is that there is no single set of universal or standard adaptation indicators. Providing examples of indicators that can be useful in adaptation programming will not contribute to advancing the field. Thus, good practice principles for selecting, developing, and using CCA indicators have been proposed.

Another conclusion is that the direct link between indicators and their role in evidence-based policy making in adaptation is a thin one. There are few or no examples of adaptation policy making that has been guided by indicators per se. The data from indicators are channeled into the overall knowledge base that is needed to inform policy making. Additionally, there is a practice gap in using evaluative evidence to inform climate change adaptation policy making.

We hope this study will enrich the conversation on what constitutes ‘good’ indicators for adaptation, and will give practitioners a better understanding of how to develop and use indicator sets within the complexity and dynamism that is inherent to climate change adaptation.