Publication - Consultation analysis

Scottish climate change adaptation programme 2019-2024: analysis of responses to consultation

Published: 12 Jul 2019
Directorate:
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781839600098

Stakeholders' responses to consultation draft on Scotland's second statutory five-year climate change adaptation programme. The programme is due to be launched in autumn 2019.

42 page PDF

767.3 kB

42 page PDF

767.3 kB

Contents
Scottish climate change adaptation programme 2019-2024: analysis of responses to consultation
3. Responses to the Proposed Overall Approach

42 page PDF

767.3 kB

3. Responses to the Proposed Overall Approach

Introduction

3.1 This chapter presents an analysis of responses to consultation questions one to four, which asked participants for their views on the proposed overall approach put forward by the Scottish Government.

Chapter overview:

  • Almost all respondents endorsed the outcome-based approach to adaptation proposed by the Scottish Government. Themes in the comments included: the many strengths associated with this approach; calls for more detail about aspects of the approach; reflections on the urgency of action required; and how to achieve the outcomes.
  • Almost all respondents endorsed the proposal to establish a National Forum on Adaptation. Themes in the comments included: why a Forum is needed, suggestions for its membership, remit and role; and, issues for the Forum to focus on.
  • Almost all participants agreed adaptation behaviours should be included within the Programme. However, caveats were expressed in relation to overall expressions of support. These included concerns about the focus on individuals, calls for more evidence, greater detail about the proposals and allocation of resources, roles and responsibilities.
  • Almost all agreed with the proposal to take an integrated approach to monitoring and evaluation. Comments in these responses included reflections on the importance of monitoring and evaluation, calls for more detail and suggested refinements or models to explore.

Question 1: Do you agree with our outcome-based approach to adaptation in Scotland?

3.2 The outcome-based approach to adaptation outlined in the consultation document is highlighted below.

'We propose an outcomes-based approach, derived from both the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Scotland's National Performance Framework. In going beyond the sector and risk-based approaches of our 2009 Framework and 2014 Programme we are proposing a more strategic framework for the new Programme. It will promote co-benefits and integrate adaptation into wider Scottish Government policy development and service delivery. The approach is inherently cross-cutting, engaging sectors which have not yet fully considered climate change adaptation'.

A quantitative overview of responses

3.3 There were 69 responses to Question 1. Of these, 65 respondents answered 'yes' indicating that they agreed with the outcome-based approach; 4 selected 'unsure'. None of the consultation participants answered 'no' to convey disagreement with the approach. Overall this indicates a strong overall level of support for the proposal put forward by the Scottish Government.

3.4 Nearly two thirds (52 out of 73 consultation participants) provided an explanatory comment in addition to their yes/unsure answer. These offer greater insight into participants' responses to the proposed approach including their views about its potential value and areas for further clarification. Themes in these responses are summarised below.

The value of the proposed outcome-based approach

3.5 Most common was some form of reflection about the overall strength of the approach. In almost all of the comments (41 out of 52 qualitative responses), there was a suggestion that an outcomes-based approach was welcome and necessary. Just under half of those who provided a comment (23 respondents) reflected on the crosscutting nature of the outcomes-based approach, citing as positive, for example, its links to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Scotland's National Performance Framework.

3.6 Roughly one-fifth of the comments (10 respondents) contained an acknowledgment that the outcomes-based approach will ensure that progress is tracked and monitored effectively. Some of these respondents also suggested the outcomes-based approach is of a holistic and long-term nature.

3.7 A few suggested the approach will promote coordinated working across sectors. However, a small number of participants (4 respondents) referenced the unpredictable nature of climate change and therefore the difficulty of creating appropriate outcomes to prepare for any eventuality.

3.8 Other comments on the value of the outcome-based approach included:

  • Reference to other successful outcomes-based approaches in place; noting the appropriateness that the Adaptation Programme should follow suit. (7 respondents).
  • An observation that the approach delivers a clear overall message, as opposed to the confusion that can stem from conveying many policy objectives. (4 respondents).
  • Suggestions that the approach incorporates a shift from a focus on the risk associated with climate change, to consideration and identification of some other benefits linked to adaptation. (3 respondents).
  • A concern that the approach might encourage a focus on short-term goals. (2 respondents).
  • A perception that the approach could help to increase transparency in climate change adaptation activity and resourcing. (2 respondents).

Calls for more detail

3.9 The second most common theme in qualitative responses was a call for more clarity in relation to the outcomes-based approach; this was identified in just under half (22 out of 52) of responses. Specific matters for further consideration included:

  • Setting measurable indicators and targets linked to specific outcomes to effectively monitor progress (12 respondents). In some of these responses participants also queried how the progress from the sub-outcomes will be monitored, in relation to achieving the higher-level outcomes. One suggested the proposed adaptation response to the risks identified by the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment were not clear, noting the Climate Change Act requires these to be explicit.
  • A small number requested clarity around how their sector is expected to respond to and deliver the outcomes. They also suggested the allocation of responsibilities for public bodies such as local authorities in achieving the outcomes. (4 respondents).
  • Two respondents commented on the need to include realistic timescales in the outcomes-based approach. They discussed this concerning the urgency and threat of climate change; one requested clarity for the outcomes extending beyond the 5-year period of the new programme.
  • One asked for an additional diagram to display the links between sub-outcomes and higher-level outcomes within each of the adaptation outcome sections.

Cross-sectoral approaches

3.10 Roughly one-fifth of the consultation participants welcomed the emphasis on cross-sectoral approaches in climate change adaptation (10 respondents). However, two felt the Scottish Government should go further in encouraging involvement from sectors that are not currently engaged in active adaptation planning.

The scale of change

3.11 Just under a fifth of the explanatory comments referenced the urgent need for a comprehensive and systematic change to prepare for the consequences of the changing climate (9 respondents). Within these responses, two participants suggested there should be a greater focus on reducing emissions within the Programme. Two called for more specificity and suggested the language used in the outcomes-based approach does not indicate the appropriate level of urgency. One reflected on an opportunity linked to the scale of the change; highlighting job creation associated with the shift towards a low carbon economy.

Uncertainty about the outcomes-based approach.

3.12 As noted at 3.3 above, 4 of the 69 respondents who provided a yes/no/unsure response to question 1 selected 'unsure'. Three of these participants shared comments with their response; all suggested that they broadly agreed with the principle of the proposals, but conveyed reservations, summarised as follows:

  • One indicated that outcome approaches are only appropriate in stable situations; they argued that the proposed Programme outcomes, in reflecting the volatility of climate change, are too high-level and therefore too general to be effective.
  • Another suggested that adaptation requires a process-driven as opposed to an outcomes-based approach to change.
  • Another describes strengths in the proposed approach but called for more detail to deliver clarity about adaptation actions.

Other comments

3.13 Other views and suggestions from consultation participants about the outcomes-based approach included:

  • Four respondents suggested the draft programme should include dedicated resources to achieve the desired outcomes. Two of these highlighted the resources needed to promote relationships and information sharing between communities to mitigate the effects of climate change. One respondent said the Scottish Government would need to provide appropriate resources set at a local level to monitor the outcomes; another called for resources to develop a cost-effective action research plan to address all risks.
  • Two participants commented on the outcomes-based approach concerning behaviour change. One of these discussed the need to respect the livelihoods of those most affected by climate change when encouraging them to change behaviours; another questioned whether the Scottish Government's ambitions for behaviour change go far enough.
  • Two respondents suggested that adaptation measures should have the flexibility to respond to complex local contexts. For example, one highlighted the specific socio-economic diversity within Glasgow and its rich cultural heritage; noting that a one-size-fits-all approach would be unlikely to achieve the desired effects.
  • One respondent suggested there should be more acknowledgement of the adaptation work currently being undertaken by local authorities in the Programme; another felt the consultation document could be expanded, with more discussion of the global context.
  • Five participants shared their views about specific outcomes in responses to question one. To avoid duplication within the report, these are covered in Chapter 6.

A sample of illustrative quotes that typify the themes identified in responses to

Question 1

A focus on outcomes should direct actions towards achieving Scottish Government's ultimate goals in adapting to climate change. This more strategic approach is certainly needed to deal with the scale of system transformation required to cope with our changing climate. It should also ensure better integration with wider policy, service delivery, and for engaging with sectors not yet considering climate change adaptation. [Stirling Council]

It (an outcomes-based approach) takes us beyond what was an unhelpful and limited focus on climate change risks, which tended to encourage silo'd thinking about risks in isolation, and failed to stimulate the systems approach that successful adaptation requires. [RSGS; independent]

We welcome the alignment of an outcomes-based approach with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Such an approach should help alignment of policy and action and with other evolving strategies. [The James Hutton Institute]

Measuring, analysing, and then redirecting is the only way to drive an improvement process. However, the outcomes are generally defined and hard to quantify - therefore there should be a set of performance indicators to accompany each outcome. [Individual]

Question 2: Do you agree that a National Forum on Adaptation should be established to facilitate discussion on climate change adaptation?

3.14 The proposed National Forum on Adaptation is described below.

'In line with the Paris Agreement and EU Adaptation Strategy, we want to deliver a step change in collaboration and propose establishing a National Forum on Adaptation, similar to Ireland's National Adaptation Steering Committee. The Forum will include senior representatives of key sectors and will improve both leadership and collaboration'.

A quantitative overview of responses

3.15 There were sixty-eight responses to Question 2. Of those, sixty-five respondents answered 'yes' indicating that they agreed with the proposal to establish a National Forum of Adaptation; three selected 'unsure'. None of the participants answered 'no' to convey disagreement with the proposal. Overall this indicates there is a strong level of support for the proposition put forward by the Scottish Government.

3.16 Nearly two thirds (53 out of 73 consultation participants) provided an explanatory comment in addition to their yes/unsure answer. These typically included views about the need for the Forum, and reflections on its membership, remit and role; and issues for the Forum to focus on. Themes in these responses are summarised below.

The need for a National Forum

3.17 Almost two-thirds of those who commented on question two explained the basis of their support for the creation of a National Forum (34 respondents). Within these responses, a range of points were raised. Many expressed appreciation that both the public and a range of sectors will be encouraged to participate, highlighting the need for collaboration and knowledge exchange as essential in achieving effective adaptation. (26 participants).

3.18 In these comments a small number of participants reflected on important, specific tasks they expect the proposed Forum to take on. They include clarifying Scotland's duties in responding to climate change, identifying resources necessary for mitigating effects, and facilitating the enactment of recommendations contained within the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment.

Membership of the National Forum

3.19 Over half of the comments relating to question two included general reflections or specific suggestions about the membership of the National Forum. Ten participants suggested it should be broad-ranging, encompassing representatives from all sectors that can effectively contribute to the mitigation of climate change, not just the sectors already engaged. A few asked for details on selection criteria, and the sectors that will be included in the National Forum.

3.20 Other themes within the comments on membership included thoughts about representation as a means to maximise knowledge, reach and impact. For example, five respondents asked for consideration of diversity within the membership with particular regard to socio-economic inclusivity. Four respondents called for the Forum membership to have an active reach among stakeholders and communities across Scotland. Two respondents suggested that the membership should include those with experience of implementing climate change adaptation; not solely policymakers.

3.21 Another respondent called for senior members of the government to attend the meetings, reflecting the importance of the Forum's work. One participant advocated for central management of the National Forum.

The Model and Remit of the National Forum

3.22 Just under half of the comments about the National Forum concerned its model and remit. (21 participants). Six respondents called for the Forum to have decision making powers. Four respondents requested greater detail and clarity around the remit of the Forum, including whether or not it will exert power in an advisory capacity to policymakers, and how its members will be recruited.

3.23 Other comments in relation to the Forum's model and remit included:

  • The need for a means of delivering action from the Forum at a local and regional level (3 respondents); one participant suggested that alongside the Forum, an intermediary was required to implement the practice within communities.
  • One respondent highlighted the work of the New Zealand Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group, comprising public and private sector representatives, as a well-functioning model for the Scottish Government to consider.
  • Other comments and suggestions included:
    • A query about how this Forum will differ from the UK Committee for Climate Change.
    • An idea that the Forum should produce an annual report to monitor progress, linked to this, another called for the Forum to adopt a clear timetable for reporting and advising.
    • A proposal that the Forum's work be split into objective vs. outcome areas.
    • The need for the Forum to input into other strategies and policies across Scotland.

Suggested issues for the National Forum to focus on

3.24 Almost a fifth of the comments included suggestions about issues for the National Forum to focus on. These varied; three participants suggested that the National Forum should also include mitigation approaches. Other proposals were also put forward, including:

  • For the Forum to ensure Scotland's actions reflect consideration of the global context, to examine resilience in relation to adaptation and develop a community strategy.
  • To take a leadership role in collaborating across sectors and explore the interconnected nature of adaptation in sectors.
  • To focus on strategies that can be implemented as soon as possible, to mitigate any urgent effects.
  • A focus on removing practical barriers to effective implementation of transformative action on adaptation.
  • To improve climate literacy at a local and national level.

Uncertainty about the National Forum

3.25 As noted at 3.15 above, three of the 68 respondents who provided a yes/no/unsure response to question 2 selected 'unsure'. Two of these participants shared comments with their response; both suggested that they partially agreed with the proposed National Forum but wished to highlight some reservations. One suggested that the Forum would need power to create action; because 'discussion on adaptation on its own is not enough'; the other said 'we do not disagreeā€¦' but felt that adaptation should be 'core business', expressing concern that establishing a Forum might create a silo which could prevent change.

Other comments

3.26 Other views and suggestions shared by consultation participants about the establishment of a National Forum included:

  • Eight participants expressed an interest in joining the National Forum.
  • Two consultation participants expressed concern about the potential implication of creating a National Forum for Scotland; one highlighted the cost to the taxpayer, another intimated that such a Forum should operate at a UK level.
  • One noted a query as to whether or not the National Forum on Adaptation would link to existing arrangements for flooding and regional resilience planning.
  • A call for clarity about the relationship of the forum with its 'governance body'.
  • One participant suggested that while they welcomed the idea of a National Forum, the same level of knowledge sharing could be accessed via an already existing platform, citing the Knowledge Hub and Scotland's Flood Risk management conference as examples.
  • One respondent iterated the importance of the use of consistent language and offering coherent strategies to adopt within the Forum.

A sample of illustrative quotes that typify the themes identified in responses to

Question 2

The Forum must include members of sectors who can contribute the most - not just the already converted. There also needs to be a means of delivering action at a local and regional level - not just high level strategy. [Angus Council]

A National Forum would be a valuable forum opening up issues of adaptation to deliberative democracy and enabling public participation [Individual].

We agree that the National Forum is a valuable approach, and it should be used to spur cross-departmental working at Government level which can enable and even require cross-sectoral working at lower levels of the public sector and in the private and third sectors. [Creative Carbon Scotland]

Question 3: Do you agree that climate change adaptation behaviours should be included in the Programme?

3.27 The new climate change adaptation behaviours introduced in the consultation document are highlighted below.

'Adapting to the impacts of climate change needs action at all levels of society. That is why we are introducing the concept of climate change adaptation behaviours for the first time. This is where individuals and organisations change their behaviour to help increase their resilience to, and reduce the severity of, negative consequences of climate change. Adaptation behaviour also includes taking advantage of new opportunities or developing new products and services to respond to changing climate. Adaptation behaviours range in scale and scope: from investing in flood protection for home and business, to changing ploughing practices on farms to reduce soil erosion'.

A quantitative overview of responses

3.28 There were seventy responses to Question 3. Of these, sixty-three respondents answered 'yes' indicating that they agreed with the proposal to include adaptation behaviours within the Programme; seven selected 'unsure'. None of the consultation participants answered 'no' to convey disagreement. This conveys strong support for the proposal put forward by the Scottish Government.

3.29 Over three quarters (58 out of 73 consultation participants) provided an explanatory comment in addition to their yes/unsure answer. Their comments provide a more nuanced picture of responses to the proposal in relation to behavioural change, with many expressing some form of caveat about their overall expression of support. These include concerns about the focus on individuals, calls for more evidence, greater detail about the proposals and allocation of resources, roles, and responsibilities. Themes in these responses are summarised below.

Reflections on the need for behavioural change

3.30 Many participants reflected on the scale and scope of change required. Several called for the Programme to include a greater focus on change within systems and organisations rather than by individuals. Within these comments there were suggestions about ways in which the Scottish Government can contribute to or support behaviour change. (26 respondents).

3.31 Themes in these comments included suggestions that climate change adaptation behaviours need to be reinforced through legislation (10 participants) or other forms of Government action, for example, specific policies that focus on environmental practices or tackling cultural and socio-economic barriers to change (3 participants) or land use and reform (2 participants).

3.32 Five respondents highlighted the importance of developing an evidence base to establish the cost-effectiveness of climate change adaptation behaviours in the longer term. Two respondents reflected on the need to consider accessibility when disseminating adaptation behaviours; two identified increased societal awareness of climate change and urged the Scottish Government to continue to reinforce this message within the Programme through a campaign to improve climate literacy.

3.33 Other reflections on supporting climate change adaptation behaviours included:

  • A call for a greater focus by the Scottish Government on networking and communication to understand community priorities.
  • Clarity about actions, timescales and allocation of responsibilities for delivering action to create behaviour change.
  • Concern that the current resource will not be enough to achieve the scale of behaviour change necessary and that an approach that addresses the complex social systems is needed.
  • Another suggested the Programme should apply the Scottish Government's ISM toolkit[4]to ensure effective behaviours are embedded.
  • Suggestions that the Programme should have scope for flexibility be updated; examples include references to the research report into behavioural change, undertaken by AECOM on behalf of the Committee on Climate Change[5]
  • Greater consideration of the range of barriers to behavioural change.

Calls for more detail or changes to the proposed adaptation behaviours

3.34 Almost half of the comments on question three included calls for more detail about, or changes to, the proposed adaptation behaviours. Of these:

  • Five participants requested clarity in terms of how adaptation behaviour change will work in practice in particular sectors, how behaviour change will be monitored, who will take responsibility for encouraging behaviour change, and communication about these changes.
  • Three felt the examples included in the Programme in relation to adaptation behaviours could be stronger; suggesting more comprehensive resources and information to engage groups in adaptation behaviours. One of these called for case studies of people and organisations to demonstrate the implementation of desired behaviours.
  • Three respondents suggested additional adaptation behaviours to include in the Programme. These broad-ranging suggestions relate to (1) communities (2) vulnerable people (3) economy (4) land management (5) natural environment and (6) coastal and marine environment.
  • Three respondents called for a shift in the focus from adaptation behaviours by individuals to more consideration of collective responsibility. Linked to this, two respondents suggested there needs to be greater significant and systematic intervention. For example, one noted that behaviour change around plastic consumption will have no effect without pressuring retailers and manufacturers to reduce their uses of plastic packaging.
  • Two respondents highlighted land management as a specific area requiring greater focus in the discussion.
  • One participant provided a detailed response highlighting three key calls for change. These were: (1) for the Programme to include an evidence-based framework for behaviour change; (2) to incorporate language and action which reflects the urgency and scale of change required from individuals; and, (3) provide more clarity about the scope of change required including consideration of whether or not these will be achieved on a voluntary basis, or require legislative changes.
  • One called for the inclusion of arts and culture to be more strongly referenced as a means to achieve and encourage adaptation behaviours.
  • One noted the word 'behaviour' is contentious in relation to mitigation in that it is vague and does not make clear the benefits of adaptation behaviours.

The value of including climate change adaptation behaviours in the Programme

3.35 Roughly one-third of comments focused on the potential impacts of including adaptations behaviours in the Programme for the first time. Participants often highlighted it as an essential step to engage individuals in a considerable, concerted effort, and many reflected on the power of behavioural change to prevent or mitigate climate change.

3.36 Prominent in these comments was a discussion of the importance of empowering and enabling groups, communities, and individuals to change behaviours to increase their resilience to the effects of climate change. (12 respondents). Respondents identified benefits, such as preparing and supporting people to embrace and adopt new behaviours and increase awareness of opportunities that adaptation brings. A few participants suggested that the inclusion of behaviour change on the broader policy debate would help to promote an understanding of the need for a coordinated approach to adaptation. Two stressed their view that a coordinated effort is needed to improve climate literacy.

Uncertainty about the proposed behavioural changes

3.37 As noted at 3.28 above, seven of the sixty-three respondents who provided a yes/no/unsure response to question 3 selected 'unsure'. Six of these participants shared comments with their response. These conveyed agreement with the overall notion of the need for behavioural change but expressed specific reservations about the proposals put forward in the draft Programme.

3.38 These reservations correspond with the themes described above; namely (1) calls for more specificity within the draft Programme about actions, timescales, responsibilities and monitoring in relation to changed behaviours (2) greater evidence on the mitigating impact of changed behaviours by individuals (3) calls for stronger legislative intervention by the Government, particularly in relation to economic incentives;, and (4) research into ways to achieve and support behavioural change.

A sample of illustrative quotes that typify the themes identified in responses to

Question 3

It is laudable to forge new ground in this area of climate change adaptation behaviours, as less attention to date has been paid to such an approach compared to mitigation behaviours. At the same time, focus on individual and organisational behaviour change, outwith government, must also be fully supported by a Scottish Government commitment in the form of solid training and funding opportunities for these individuals and organisations to address climate change adaptation. [Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS), University of Edinburgh]

More work will be needed to quantify the effectiveness of potential different adaptation behaviours and the extent to which they offer value for money at all levels (producer and consumer) compared to other interventions [Strathclyde Partnership for Transport]

Empowering individuals and organisations to change their behaviour to help increase their resilience to, and reduce the severity of, negative consequences of climate change, is important in terms of both increasing awareness and resilience. This aligns well with a growing societal awareness of climate risk and statement in the recent CCC Report that the proportion of adults in Scotland who view climate change as an immediate and urgent problem has increased by one third between 2013 and 2017, from 46% to 61%. [The Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP)]

Question 4: Do you agree that an integrated approach should be taken to monitoring and evaluation?

3.39 The new integrated approach to monitoring and evaluation, as described in the consultation document, is set out below.

'The monitoring and evaluation framework for the second Adaptation Programme has been developed in response to specific recommendations from both the Adaptation Subcommittee (of the UK Climate Change Committee) and ClimateXChange to ensure that we can effectively monitor implementation of the Adaptation Programme and track progress towards the outcomes. Our new approach acknowledges that M&E is integral to an outcomes-focussed Programme and encourages consideration of M&E at all stages of adaptation policy development'.

A quantitative overview of responses

3.40 There were sixty-nine responses to Question 4. Of these, sixty-five respondents answered 'yes' indicating that they agreed the approach should be included within the Programme; four selected 'unsure'. None of the consultation participants answered 'no' to convey disagreement with the proposal to take an integrated approach to monitoring and evaluation. This suggests strong support for the proposition put forward by the Scottish Government.

3.41 Over half (47 out of 73 consultation participants) provided an explanatory comment in addition to their yes/unsure answer. Their comments provide greater insight into participants' views; two thirds (31 out of 47) highlighted issues for further consideration by the Scottish Government; the remainder fully endorsed the proposals and had no changes to suggest. Themes in these responses included reflections on the importance of monitoring and evaluation, calls for more detail and suggested refinements or models to explore. The responses are summarised below.

The value of an integrated approach to monitoring and evaluation

3.42 Almost half of the respondents that provided a comment for question four (23 out of 47 respondents) expressed support for the integrated approach to monitoring and evaluation. It was frequently described as key to establishing and measuring the effectiveness of adaptation policies. Two participants endorsed the proposal to utilise existing frameworks, one participant reflected on the value of this approach in allowing for adjustments to policy and increasing data availability; another noted that this approach would encourage openness and transparency.

Suggested monitoring and evaluation models

3.43 The second most prevalent theme in responses concerned models to consider. Suggestions within these comments varied, ranging from ways to structure monitoring arrangements, to current activity that can be learned from or incorporated, and specific measurements for consideration:

  • Concerning models:
    • Three participants suggested that an independent body should provide the oversight; one noted Environment, Climate Change, and Land Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament could fulfil this role.
    • Three respondents urged the Scottish Government to build upon relevant approaches already underway. They shared detailed examples of work in the private, public and third sectors to measure and monitor developments. These have been signposted to the SG for consideration.
    • Two respondents advocated for the inclusion of indicators for regional and local areas to enable adaptation monitoring at a range of levels.
    • One respondent called for the involvement of research bodies and universities in achieving an integrated approach; another suggested that they themselves should be involved in the development of a Framework.
    • One respondent suggested a standard template or methodology be developed to aid organisations to monitor and evaluate appropriately; another highlighted the importance of coordinating timescales in an integrated approach.
    • One respondent suggested that reporting should be coupled with climate change duties within public bodies.
  • Concerning specific activities to monitor and evaluate:
    • Two respondents called for mechanisms to monitor those who financially may struggle to adapt to climate change in terms of weather incidents. They also propose a specific focus on monitoring the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate change risk.
    • Two respondents suggested particular areas for exploration; for example, local sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), issues of climate justice, the use of 'SMART' targets.
    • One respondent discussed the potential difficulty of monitoring health outcomes and relating them to adaptation policy. They also suggested that the progress indicators used in the new Forestry Strategy could be useful in monitoring adaptation.

3.44 Other general considerations highlighted by participants included reflections on the need to communicate evidence gathered through monitoring and evaluation activity and a view that sectors should currently be integrating evaluation and monitoring into their planning.

Calls for more detail

3.45 Roughly a quarter of the comments about this question included calls for clarity or further detail about what is proposed (12 respondents). For example, seven respondents requested detail on what the integrated approach entails, timescales and methodology to allow; one noted the need for stakeholders to have time to plan and consider the resource impacts. Five respondents commented on the need for alignment and consistency.

3.46 Linked to this point, seven respondents asked for clarity about the Scottish Government's role in monitoring and evaluation. For example, two called for the Scottish Government to work with sectors to gain a better understanding of the areas that need monitoring; two called for more investment in improving monitoring data; another two queried whether the SG will be providing extra funding or support to enable sufficient monitoring. One called for clarity between the proposals and the updated National Performance Framework.

Uncertainty about the proposed integrated approach to monitoring and evaluation

3.47 As noted at 3.40 above, four of the respondents who provided a yes/no/unsure response to question 4 selected 'unsure'. Three of these participants shared comments with their response. One said they did not feel there was sufficient information to comment; the others acknowledged the rationale for the approach but linked their reservation to the perception of an integrated approach being overly complicated.

A sample of illustrative quotes that typify the themes identified in responses to

Question 4

Monitoring and evaluation are vital to track success or identify where improvement is needed within the adaptation programme. Integrating this will give an overview of Scotland's efforts to adapt to climate change as a whole. [SWestrans]

Monitoring and evaluation is vital to effectively assess progress on adaptation. An integrated approach is key to allow for adjustments to policy and it also has the potential to increase data availability and the effectiveness of certain adaptations to certain projects/regions/areas. [Anonymous]

The framework presented appears to be a reasonable approach but it is difficult to judge how effective this might be without further detail. The existing adaptation indicators have limited application: it would be helpful if indicators were developed that could be used at a regional or more local level to help track adaptation activity at the local authority level. [Stirling Council]

Our interpretation of an integrated approach to monitoring and evaluation is that it will include representation from all sectors involved in delivering the strategy and will draw evidence/learning from a range of sources, networks, policies and actions. One way to ensure this is to invite the groups, communities or organisations that are represented in the policies for each outcome. This will help to support community empowerment and ensure collective responsibility for the strategy. [Glasgow Centre for Population Health]


Contact

Email: allen.hughes@gov.scot