Monitoring & Evaluation

Monitoring & Evaluation “at a glance”

UPDATE: Factsheet series on national M&E adaptation systems updated!

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) helps to keep track of progress made in adapting to climate change. Enhancing transparency is an important part of the Paris Agreement. M&E can provide the basis for learning, accountability and reporting, and GIZ has developed several tools to facilitate its application at national and subnational level.

M&E of climate adaptation can be done for a variety of purposes, be it to monitor specific adaptation projects, the implementation of a national action plan, or the achievement of NDC goals. There is no one-size-fits all approach to M&E for these different purposes. The Adaptation M&E Navigator provides orientation and suggests relevant M&E methods.

M&E of climate adaptation differs from M&E of mitigation (also called MRV), because adaptation is context-specific and there is no global success indicator for adaptation similar to “reduction in GHG-emissions”. Adaptation M&E systems and indicators therefore need to fit to the respective needs and circumstances.

The Paris Agreement calls for enhanced transparency of adaptation actions and requires Parties to the UNFCCC to share information on adaptation progress. A Global Stocktake will assess the collective achievement towards the adaptation goal. Country-specific adaptation M&E systems can generate information that supports planning and decision making and facilitates implementation of the Paris Agreement.

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A Toolbox for Adaptation M&E

The graphic below shows the tools available for adaptation M&E and their application level (national, project or multi-level). The navigation on the right leads to further details including publications translated into Spanish and French. Directly clicking on any gear-wheel is a shortcut to open the English publication.

What is adaptation M&E?
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of adaptation supports keeping track of the implementation of adaptation plans and actions and assessing their effectiveness and outcomes.
  • Adaptation M&E can focus on the process of adaptation (i.e. is implementation taking place?) as well as on its outcomes, i.e. whether the objectives of adaptation actions get achieved.
Why undertake adaptation M&E?
  • Adaptation M&E can support the ongoing management of adaptation interventions by assessing progress and pointing out needs for adjustments.
  • Adaptation M&E can also support learning and exchange about what works well and what does not, thereby helping to improve adaptation actions.
  • Adaptation M&E can also provide accountability by demonstrating and reporting on results.
  • M&E systems can help to gather information that is relevant for provisions of the Paris Agreement such as the transparency framework or the Global Stocktake.
What are different approaches to adaptation M&E?
  • Approaches differ based on the purpose for M&E, e.g. whether the primary focus is on management, learning or accountability
  • Since adaptation is context specific and there are different purposes for M&E, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to adaptation M&E
  • M&E approaches also differ according to the level of application, e.g. project level, national level or across levels
  • The Adaptation M&E Navigator helps to select an M&E approach according to the M&E purpose
What experiences exist with adaptation M&E?
  • Countries are increasingly developing national adaptation M&E systems. A study by IISD & GIZ (2014) illustrates ten such systems with detailed factsheets (fact sheets updated mid-2017).
  • So far there is far more emphasis on monitoring than on evaluation. Methods available for impact evaluation of adaptation projects are summarized in a guidebook.
  • Lessons learned from early experiences with adaptation M&E at national level are described in a comparative analysis and have informed a guidebook to develop adaptation M&E systems at national level.
Where is more information available?
  • A number of guidelines and tools have been developed and are shown in the graphic above. Please click on any of the gear-wheels or use the navigation to get more details. You can also check out our webinars, events and training materials.