2024 Forum

About the Series

The need to ensure adaptation is effective has grown more urgent as climate impacts are increasingly felt and the awareness of the possibility of implementing adaptation strategies has become more commonly understood. Adaptation strategies are implemented based on good ideas and best guesses, and rarely include efforts to assess whether or not they are resulting in desired resilience to climate change impacts. As a result there is little data on the efficacy of adaptation practice. The goal of this series is to advance the practice of monitoring and evaluating (M&E) climate adaptation work. This four-part virtual series aims to highlight different approaches, examples, and frameworks from across the adaptation community, spanning natural, built, and social systems.

Session Descriptions and Speaker Presentations

Session One: Moving to evidence-based adaptation


Jennie Hoffman, Director, Adaptation/Insight

Susi Moser, Director and Principal Scientist, Susanne Moser Research and Consulting

Jarrod Loerzel, Research Social Scientist, Community Resilience Group, NIST

Lara Hansen, Chief Scientist and Executive Director, EcoAdapt

Moderator: Lara Hansen, EcoAdapt

This panel will provide an introduction to adaptation monitoring and evaluation (M&E) theory and practices. The session will cover four aspects of M&E:

  1. An introduction to the role of monitoring in helping foster clarity of goals, inclusion of equity and nature, and learning if you are achieving success (Jennie)
  2. Examples and lessons of an M&E approach used by sites across the country (Susi)
  3. An inventory of resilience metrics for M&E practice in adaptation (Jarrod)
  4. How M&E could be incorporated into actions at each level of the Steps of Resilience (Lara)

Presentation PDFs can be downloaded by clicking on individual presentation titles above

Session Two: A well rounded-perspective on M&E: Global, Federal, and Local


Colleen McGinn, Senior Resilience Specialist, ISET-International

Kanmani Venkateswaran, Senior Research Associate, ISET-International

Kathryn Godfrey, Assistant Director, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Joe Thompson, Assistant Director – Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Malgosia Madajewicz, Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University

Moderator: Matthew Malecha, Postdoctoral Fellow, NIST

This session will be made up of three short presentations that will provide a variety of perspectives on M&E.

  1. Global: Raising the Bar: Designing, Monitoring, and Evaluating Climate Resilience (Colleen & Kanmani)
  2. Federal: Adaptation and Accountability: The Role of GAO’s Disaster Resilience Framework in System-Wide Action (Kathryn & Joe)
  3. Local: Enabling Homeowners to adapt to Coastal Flooding: The Case of Rockaway in New York City (Malgosia)

Presentation PDFs can be downloaded by clicking on individual presentation titles above

Session Three: Adaptation M&E theory and practice in the natural resources and conservation sector

This session will offer a comprehensive set of criteria for evaluating adaptation projects, examine evaluation efforts in the U.S. conservation sector, and share examples of evaluation in action. An opening presentation by Dr. Lauren Oakes will introduce a “scorecard” of 16 criteria for evaluating adaptation projects that was developed and honed through interviews and surveys with adaptation experts and conservation practitioners. She will also share results from an analysis of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plans from 76 site-based adaptation projects designed to benefit conservation targets that span a diversity of ecosystems and climate impacts. This analysis examined the types of indicators practitioners are monitoring in relation to reported ecological and social outcomes, to what extent they may be adopting M&E best practices, what factors enable more comprehensive M&E efforts (e.g., partnering with researchers), and practitioner views on what could improve evaluation of adaptation actions. The session will also include presentations by practitioners describing the purpose of their M&E efforts, indicators linked to near- and long-term goals, and practical aspects of evaluating adaptation projects in coastal South Carolina and in forests and rangelands of California

Session Four: Training in developing targeted adaptation indicators and metrics


Susi Moser, Director and Principal Scientist, Susanne Moser Research and Consulting

Presentation PDF can be downloaded by clicking on the presenter’s name above

Monitoring and evaluating adaptation progress and success is elusive to adaptation practitioners. The ultimate outcomes may not be seen for a long time; climatic conditions are changing; and people’s perspectives and values evolve over time. Thus, development of successful adaptation indicators and metrics (SAIMs) has lagged behind yet are increasingly demanded by funders, credit rating agencies, stakeholders, and elected officials.

During this training, attendees will be able to explore a toolkit created for the development, selection and use of tailored SAIMs. The toolkit draws on 10+ years of work with government officials, academic experts and boundary individuals defining a framework for thinking about adaptation success; developing project-, program- and entity-relevant SAIMs; and distilling the tools, lessons, and tips practitioners find useful in identifying indicators that work for their purposes, constituency and budgets.

The site (www.resiliencemetrics.org) includes didactic material about adaptation, indicators, monitoring and evaluation; facilitation tools, tip sheets for developing, assessing, choosing, using and communicating SAIMs; case studies; sample indicators; and additional resources (data sources, readings and examples of SAIMs developed by others).

Monitoring and Evaluation Committee

This series would have not been possible without the support of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee Members (listed in alphabetical order by last name):

Katie Clifford, Research Integration Specialist, Western Water Assessment

Molly Cross, Science Director of the Climate Adaptation Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society

Ned Gardiner, Engagement Manager, U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, NOAA

Lara Hansen, Chief Scientist and Executive Director, EcoAdapt

Jennie Hoffman, Director, Adaptation/Insight

Matthew Malecha, Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Community Resilience Group

Susi Moser, Director and Principal Scientist, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting

Carey Schafer, Project Coordinator, EcoAdapt


The Monitoring & Evaluation Series would have not been possible without the generous support of The Doris Duke Foundation.