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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)
Title IImpact evaluation and interventions to adress climate change
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
URL https://www.climate-eval.org/sites/default/files/evaluations/530 Impact Evaluation and Interventions​to Address Climate Change - A Scoping Study.pdf
Abstract
Climate change is at the top of the international policy agenda. While differences in
interests and negotiating positions make ongoing negotiations challenging, there is
broad agreement on the need to tackle the causes and consequences of global
climatic change. But although the evidence base on the science of climate change is
overwhelming, there is less of a consensus around the effectiveness of policies and
interventions designed to bring about behaviour change for mitigation and
adaptation. So far very few rigorous impact evaluations of climate change
interventions have been undertaken: the evidence base to guide policy-makers
needs strengthening.
This paper argues that to support the effective allocation of substantial climate
funds, the selection and design of climate change interventions (both mitigation and
adaptation) should be based on evidence of what works, what doesn’t, under what
circumstances and at what cost. This paper is intended to be of relevance to climate
change professionals on the one hand, and impact evaluators on the other. However,
as the applicability of IE techniques to climate change interventions has not been
widely considered, the paper does not purport to be comprehensive or exhaustive.
Instead, it sketches out the terrain on which future studies might build.
Section 2 of the paper provides an introduction to climate change, policy responses
and sources of funding. We briefly summarise the science of climate change and its
physical impacts, provide some background on what is meant by mitigation and
adaptation, and provide an overview of the main financial resources available
through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and
other multilateral sources.
The remaining sections of the paper discuss impact evaluation in relation to climate
change interventions. Section 3 provides a brief introduction to IE, a summary of
how it has been applied to climate change and related environmental interventions in
developing countries to date, and a brief discussion of the limits and opportunities in
applying rigorous IE to climate change interventions. The fourth and fifth sections
focus on some of the key areas relevant for mitigation and adaptation interventions,
respectively, and suggest ways in which IEs could be implemented, using evaluations
in other policy fields as examples. As stated above, there is ample scientific evidence
of the fact of climate change, and of the science behind proposed interventions for
mitigation and adaptation. But underlying the success of these interventions is
behaviour change, and it is this behaviour change which has been inadequately
evaluated. The sixth section concludes.

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