Concurrent with implementation, you will define and begin tracking key performance indicators to measure impacts of solutions. Your indicators should measure both climate and human-health impact to understand policy effectiveness.
This module provides best practices on monitoring and evaluating heat-risk reduction and preparedness interventions. Ongoing measurement allows you to modify policies and interventions as needed to optimize impact and progress toward your risk-reduction goals. To support ongoing monitoring and evaluation, it is a best practice to create a data collection plan to track key performance indicators over time. This step should be initiated in parallel with or immediately following Implement and Scale Heat Action.
Ongoing measurement allows you to modify policies and interventions as needed to optimize impact and progress toward your risk reduction goals.
Monitoring and evaluating heat policy
Monitoring heat policy will show success in reducing heat impacts and what areas may need further focus. If the policies are not monitored, they will not be able to be built upon in the future. If you wish to expand the policies to other areas or add layers to the existing ones, tracking lessons learned is key to continually improving the process.
Resource on monitoring frameworks:
- Monitoring Implementation
For guidance on this process, see C40’s monitoring implementation framework.
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are steps in a continuous process that is always evolving. New weather patterns may emerge in the city, impacting measures. During cooler seasons, the public works department may need to resurface a cool roof or trim a green corridor. Often the impact of projects will grow over time and this continual monitoring will reflect change over the short and medium term.
Especially if funding mechanisms have been used, financial information and overall impact will likely need to be measured to report to the funder. The funder may be interested in expanding the project or using lessons learned to repeat a similar project in other cities.
Political leaders often expend political capital to implement heat related projects. Demonstrating the effectiveness of such projects can maintain or grow the political capital and popular support for government leaders.
Designing a monitoring and evaluation process
There are many options to monitor and evaluate policy. Most importantly, you must establish the timeframe for monitoring (daily, weekly, monthly, etc) and what success metrics look like, and who is responsible for tracking and evaluating such indicators. For long-term projects, annual reports may be beneficial. The M&E plan can be as robust and detailed as deemed feasible. Stakeholder engagement and review after policy implementation may be useful if possible. If not, tracking data, such as temperature change or health impacts is necessary.
Resources on monitoring and evaluation frameworks and systems:
- National Climate Change Response Monitoring and Evaluation System Framework
For an example of how the Republic of South Africa is conducting M&E, see pages 11-14 of its National Climate Chance Response Monitoring and Evaluation System Framework.
- City Resilience Toolkit
For how Ahmedabad is conducting M&E of the Indian city’s heat policy, see pages 15-17 of the City Resilience Toolkit produced in its partnership with the Natural Resource Defense Council, and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, among others.
- Monitoring and Reporting
For an example of how the city of Sydney is monitoring the implementation of A Metropolis of 3 Cities, a sustainability plan for Greater Sydney that includes biodiversity and the key indicators, see the monitoring and reporting page of the Greater Cities Commission of New South Wales, Australia.
Using the outputs from monitoring and evaluation
The outputs should be used to evaluate the success of the policy/project. This may be formalized in a report for either government leaders or the public. It should also be used to inform future measures, building on lessons learned including what was successful in this project and what could be improved upon. If you wish to expand the project, such as moving from a pilot in one area to the entire city, the outputs are helpful in informing the expansion.
Resources on utilizing M&E outputs:
- Heat Warning in Karachi
For an examination of how to use M&E to assess how successful communication around heat warning communication was, see page 18 for an example from a pilot project in Karachi, Pakistan, involving multiple organizations.
- Assessment of Cooling Centers in Arizona
For an example assessment of how successful cooling centers have been over the long term in Arizona, United States, see pages 9-10 of an article by Berisha et al. published by the American Meteorological Society in 2017.
- A Snapshot of Global Adaptation Investment and Tracking Methods
For how to integrate M&E climate finance related measures into existing M&E frameworks, see page 11 of A Snapshot of Global Adaptation Investment and Tracking Methods, produced by Climate Policy Initiative.
Common challenges in effectively monitoring and evaluating heat resilience interventions
Monitoring and evaluation can be time-consuming and sometimes involve significant staff work. If leadership changes during the M&E process, buy-in for the investment needed may decline. Building robust M&E processes will allow for significant data to be captured and presented to new leadership to demonstrate the benefit of these policies. Additionally, the timeframe for success may be longer than outside forces prefer and staying the course may prove to be a challenge. Finally, if implementation is imperfect, M&E plans may need to be reassessed. Staying flexible and adaptable will help you track the projects in the best possible manner.
Resources on monitoring and evaluation:
- Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation Tools
For examples of how to overcome these challenges see the “Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit,” produced by the Michigan Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments.
- Guidebook on Monitoring and Evaluation of Adaptation at National and Sub-National Levels
For a broader resource on national and sub-national monitoring of adaptation, see Developing National Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation Systems: A Guidebook, produced by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
You’ve completed Monitor and Evaluate Heat Action.
Please contact Kurt Shickman, Director of Extreme Heat Initiatives at the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.