3A.1 Monitoring, evaluating, and explaining progress in climate change adaptation

Monday, 18 July 2011: 3:30 PM
Salon A (Asheville Renaissance)
Ronald D. Brunner, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Community-based initiatives in disaster mitigation have decades of experience in reducing net losses and vulnerability to extreme weather events, including floods, hurricanes, heat waves, and wildfires. Drawing on case studies of their experience, this paper focuses on what they have learned in practice about monitoring, evaluating, and explaining their progress as events unfold. The aim is to compare, consolidate, and justify practical methods that serve these purposes for practitioners in climate change adaptation who are expected to face more and more extreme weather events. A half century of literature on the dysfunctional consequences of quantitative performance measures supports the premise that reliance on metrics exclusively is insufficient for monitoring, evaluating, and explaining progress. Moreover, insistence on metrics exclusively is a barrier to the success of community-based initiatives.
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