Evaluating Capacity Building to Foster Climate Change Adaptation


This paper describes an evaluation of a capacity-building approach for promoting locally-driven climate change adaptation through local action. Using a leadership development strategy, a US-based NGO convened teams of dedicated sustainability practitioners from 15 localities for peer learning, team-building, and access to expert resources. The evaluation strengthened the NGO’s theoretical framework and methods for understanding the capacity-building contribution of the intervention to climate change adaptation. It demonstrated the use of stakeholder data to test and refine assumptions about 1) how intended changes are expected to occur and 2) prioritizing the use of capacity-building resources. It also underscored the necessity of evaluation partnerships between the NGO and committed teams of change agents to sustain capacity-building effects while allowing data gathering over time to continuously refine the Theory of Change (ToC) and to guide local efforts to achieve climate change adaptation outcomes. The evaluation data showed that the initial ToC was not sufficiently robust to identify necessary conditions to be embedded in specific local situational contexts to increase the likelihood of success. The evaluators recommended enhancement of the ToC to consider team “readiness”, while offering a logic model framework and capacity-building process metrics for progress and outcome tracking.

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Castle, M. , Tan, N. and LaGro, J. (2015) Evaluating Capacity Building to Foster Climate Change Adaptation. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 3, 81-90. doi: 10.4236/jss.2015.33015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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