Specific purpose #6: Assessing the results of a programme or portfolio of adaptation projects

Approach: Project-specific indicators informing a synthesis of portfolio results
See specific purpose #5 “Assessing the results of adaptation projects or actions”.
Approach: Standard indicators to be used by every project of a portfolio
ProspectExpressing the collective performance of a portfolio of climate adaptation interventions (e.g. a climate fund) in a quantitative way.
Potential use of M&E findingsReporting the performance for accountability purposes and monitoring the collective achievements.
DescriptionDefining standard indicators which have to be used and reported against by each adaptation intervention of the portfolio. Standardized instructions on how to measure each indicator are typically provided in order to ensure comparability. It may be optional for projects to choose among a set of standard indicators those that best fit a respective intervention. The indicators are typically quantitative to enable aggregation across the entire portfolio.
Benefits and limitationsUsing the same indicators across a number of projects allows summing up (aggregating) results and thus expressing the performance of a portfolio through a few quantitative figures. This can be suitable way to demonstrate the collective achievements of investments. However, if the portfolio of adaptation interventions ranges across multiple sectors or types of interventions, it will likely be difficult to find indicators that are specific enough and still broadly applicable. This often leads to indicators on the lowest possible denominator like “number of people/policies/methods etc.” which does not provide any information on the actual effects (outcomes) of the interventions. Climate funds therefore often use a combination of standard indicators and project-specific indicators.
Resources neededResources to define and test standard indicators, to provide guidance on their application and to compile the respective information from the interventions. If data gathering is being taken care of by every project, the additional resources needed once the indicators have been developed are relatively low.
Example from practice• Five core indicators of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR)
• Adaptation Fund core indicators
• Capacity and action indicators of the International Climate Initiative of the German Ministry for the Environment (BMUB).
LinksPPCR (2014). Monitoring & Reporting Toolkit. Climate Investment Funds
Roehrer, C., & Kouadio, K. E. (2015). Monitoring, reporting, and evidence-based learning in the Climate Investment Fund’s Pilot Program for Climate Resilience. New Directions for Evaluation, 147, 129–145