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Use in decision framework
|Choose methodology and criteria|
|Assess adaptation options|
CLIMACT Prio tool is a climate awareness, decision support and capacity building tool for the prioritization and assessment of climate mitigation and/or adaptation actions at a local level . CLIMACT Prio utilises a multi-criteria approach to assist decision makers and urban planners to identify a wide range of decision criteria and set priorities among objectives while performing a analysis and assessment of climate change (mitigation or adaptation) actions.
This method does not necessarily identify an “optimal” option, but rather requires the user to draw conclusions by looking at different components of the whole picture of the assessment and prioritisation process, while seeking a consensus decision between stakeholders with different needs, concerns and priorities.
CLIMACT Prio tool provides and interactive excel format to help users structure and define the decisions under consideration. The tool asks the user to enter information through a guided menu of instructions and uses a menu-driven graphic representation of results for the evaluation of climate change actions.
The CLIMACT Prio tool is structured in six main steps (Figure 1):
- Identification of preliminary wish-list of actions based on cities vulnerability profiles, broader development goals and visions (this step forms the basis to use the tool)
- Feasibility Assessment: Consists in the screening of each action identified in the wish-list against pre-defined feasibility criteria and formulation of a shortlist of actions to take further into the assessment (not compulsory)
- Evaluation Criteria Identification: Based on city vulnerability profiles, broader development goals and the preliminary list of adaptation actions, evaluation criteria are identified.
- Impact assessment: Consists of experts’ judgments and impact assessment matrix along with normalized scores and graphs;
- Weighting of criteria: Consists in the weighting of criteria by the stakeholders and the generation of relevant graphs;
- Results: Consists of the presentation of weighted scores, final ranking and the generation of relevant graphs
Figure 1. The main steps of a multi-criteria analysis and the involvement of the stakeholders.
MCA facilitates the active engagement of relevant stakeholders through the process of criteria selection (step 2) and weighting (step 5).
The purpose of this step is to identify criteria for assessing the consequences of each option. Criteria should be specific and measurable objectives. Depending the data availability, the link with the objectives and preferences of the stakeholders a set of criteria will be selected.
The process to select and validate evaluation criteria consists of a literature review, screening of initially selected indicators and stakeholders’ validation (workshop with local stakeholders). The selected criteria need to meet certain conditions: completeness, Redundancy, Operationally, Mutual independence of preferences, Double counting, and Size Impacts occurring over time among other.
The scoring can be quantitative or qualitative and different types of scales are valid. The source of information to support the scoring need to be identified and used to score the criteria. In case different scales are used for the selected criteria, a normalization step is required after scoring. Last, the consistency of the scores on each criterion should be checked. In the following lines some of the criteria a further explained:
- The environmental performance of the adaptation options: Determine the environmental performance (effectiveness) of the adaptation options. Determine the amount of risk (hazard, exposure and/or vulnerability) the option will reduce (this will determine how effective is the option), but also risks* introduced or increased by the measure.
- Economic performance: Cost-benefit of each adaptation option, not only of direct costs and revenues, but also economic impact for the surrounding economy
- Social performance: It refers to co-benefits (environmental benefits) and social impact of each of the adaptation options
Values can be normalised between e.g. 0-1 so that a fair comparison can be done among the options.
Assign weights for each of the criterion to reflect their relative importance to the decision. The weighting of criteria plays an important role in the ranking of adaptation options. The aim of this step is to select a weighting method and apply.
A selection of the weighting method need to be done. Then the methodology is applied in a workshop with stakeholders. Assigning weights to criteria highlights which criteria count most. Finally, a general group discussion follows and a final agreement on the weight is sought.
The options will be ranked according to the prioritisation result and the contribution of each criterion to the result will appear. If the prioritisation gives unexpected results (from the stakeholders ‘perspective), then a sensitivity analysis is recommended.
The obtained ranking gives an indication of which one is the preferred option and how much better this option is over the following one. The sensitivity analysis consists on meetings with stakeholders to understand the outcomes of the prioritization. A re-checking of the appraisal preferences or weights is done.
First of all, a list of adaptation options to be appraised need to be idenfied.
A pre-screening step is available within the tool. CLIMACT-Prio tool includes a procedure for selecting from an extended set of actions (up to 25) a short list of adaptation actions based on their feasibility assessment. For that, the tool evaluates each alternative adaptation option through eight principles related to feasibility and impact:
- Stakeholders acceptability
- Technical feasibility
- Ease of implementation
- Financial feasibility
- Mainstreaming potential
Once the adaptation options are identified, the evaluation criteria to be used need to be defined. The impact and benefit of the adaptation options will be evaluated based on these selected criteria. The criteria can be of a diverse nature and should be relate to broader local government´s priorities and objectives. It is recommended that the criteria should be SMART: simple, measurable, available, relevant and time bound.
While following the climate actions prioritisation process, the users rates the relative importance of criteria and assigns scores (qualitative and quantitative) to describe how each option meets each criterion. An Impact Matrix is used to assign scores for each adaptation action against the selected evaluation criteria (Fig 1).
Figure 1. Impact assessment matrix
After the scoring the weighting of the criteria is required (Fig. 2). In this step, invited stakeholders (i.e. local community representatives, local or national stakeholders) must decide if any of the criteria should be given a higher or lower weight with respect to others. Weighting of the criteria should be at the heart of group discussions, as it may change the ranking of adaptation options.
Figure 2. Example of the weighting step
The process is flexible, thus, if information to evaluate the options is available, it can take from one hour to few days approximately depending on the complexity of the problem and the number of involved stakeholders. If quantitative analysis is desired and information is not available, it will take some extra time to gather the information.
The tool has a low-medium difficulty as it requires some basic knowledge on prioritisation methodologies to understand the procedure and be able to interpret the results.
- Number of computers: 1 per group
- Internet connection
- Software: Microsoft excel (Microsoft Windows XP or higher)
- CLIMACT Prio tool language: English
- Expected skills: Basic knowledge of Excel spreadsheets
CLIMACT Prio Tool will deliver a rank of options based on the given scoring of the adaptation options and the weighting of the criteria (Figure 3). The final weighted score corresponds to a weighted summation between the standardized values of the Impact Matrix and the weights assigned to each criterion.
Figure 3. Example of a graph given by CLIMACT Prio Tool as a result of the prioritisation methodology
Grafakos, S., Olivotto, V., and Enseñado, E.M. Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Conditions for use
The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies request users to inform the developers when and in what context they have used the tool, which is available for free. If needed, IHS could offer further support for applying the tool in specific cases. To access CLIMACT PRIO tool, please, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tool has been applied in practice to support prioritization of climate change actions in different cities, such as Dhaka, Dar er Salaam, and Colombo, to name a few. Further, IHS has provided capacity-building sessions to urban policy makers and managers on using the CLIMACT Prio tool.