Decision support tools
To draw up a well-considered climate adaptation strategy or to enable an assessment of its effects, certain tools to enable decision-making would be helpful. For instance: both ex-ante tools – which play a role particularly in policy preparatory work, such as scenarios, appraisal and assessment frameworks – and ex-post tools – that can be utilised at the implementation and evaluation stage, such as monitoring and evaluation methods. One important condition for the effective use of these tools is that they take into account the specific characteristics of climate change and adaptation policy. These include not only the inherent political character of policy processes in general, but also the long-term perspective, the uncertainties that creep in and the dependence on other societal interests and developments, etc. In other words, the administrators need clear and unambiguous knowledge that must be available and usable in the short-term, while they are confronted with the need to draw up long-term plans with regard to climate change and are faced with major uncertainties.
Some of these tools are currently under development and existing instruments are being enhanced with a climateproofing ‘module’. These initiatives are or will be funded by, inter alia, the Climate changes Spatial Planning programme and one of the components of Knowledge for Climate, namely Building blocks for National Adaptation Strategy. The intention of this research theme is that a widening, innovating and further deepening of understanding takes place, together with a reflection on and evaluation of the existing and recently developed tools. It must be emphasised that the research must be in line with present knowledge.
- How can current national scenarios and outlooks (socioeconomic, climatological, technological) be
translated into consistent regional development scenarios for the medium and long-term, in order to adapt water management and the use of space (in both rural and urban areas) to the changing climate conditions?
- What policy instruments are available to develop various policy options in the field of adaptation, make them perceptible, weigh them up against each other and assess them in terms of their climate-proofing? How do these instruments function and what is their value in bringing together knowledge and practice (evaluation of existing practices for the purpose of optimising future practices)? Are new instruments needed to support the regional adaptation policy and, if so, do they differ from the existing instruments? Which instruments can be used in which circumstances?
- How can the MKBA (Social Costs and Benefits Analysis), plus other economic analysis methodologies and multicriteria analyses, be further developed for the economic assessment of national and regional adaptation strategies, so that uncertainties, indirect economic effects, reputation damage, societal dislocation, assessment of group risks, timing of interventions and the long-term character of investments (>50 years) can be included in the analyses?
- Which instruments are available, or need to be developed, to be able to visualise region-specific adaptation measures (make them perceptible to the citizens involved) and monitor the degree of adaptation? What indicators can be used in the monitoring process? In this respect, it is advisable to relate the indicators for climate robustness to sustainability indicators.
A Consortium on Decision Support Tools was formed in 2010. This Consortium research programme aims at improving tools for design and evaluation of adaptation strategies with a special focus on spatial planning and cross cutting issues. It focuses on three core elements:
- tools for formulation of the adaptation task, based on climate scenarios and economic development
- tools for development and visualization of adaptation strategies in general and in particular related to hotspots and case study areas of KvK
- evaluation and monitoring tools for assessing adaptation strategies in terms of various indicators such as costs and benefits, side effects, equity issues; efficiency and temporal and spatial scales
View the list with CcSP and KfC projects with regard to this Research theme.