Module 6: Presenting the outcomes of IVAVIA

Presenting the outcomes of IVAVIA to stakeholders—be it as a written report, as an execu- tive summary, or as an oral presentation—is important for communicating climate change risk, supporting decisions on which risks to focus on when developing and implementing adaptation and resilience actions, and ultimately may decide about success or failure to get the funding to implement a climate change adaptation project of a city. The added-value of IVAVIA are not only the output data generated, but also the in-depth knowledge created about e.g. stakeholders, responsibilities, data sources and data availabilities by a city while executing the IVAVIA method.

This chapter is about our recommendations how you should present best the outcomes of IVAVIA to your stakeholders and funding bodies. It is a best practice chapter as it combines the outcomes of IVAVIA with the experiences and procedures made by European cities active in climate change adaptation and with recommendations from state-of-the-art sources.

Besides the Vulnerability Sourcebook, we found little practical guidance on how to best present the results of a risk-based vulnerability assessment to decision-takers. Most works that the IVAVIA authors found focus on the risk analysis methods and ways to turn results into figures. However, some recommendations based on experience are there, and we have collected those that seemed most useful for inclusion in IVAVIA module 6 (BMZ 2014a, BMZ 2017, Vose 2008, FAIR 2018).

Potential Pitfalls

As in other module descriptions we also want to talk here about the potential pitfalls for module 6. We took the following list from BMZ 2014a.

  • “It can be difficult to formulate and present the findings of a complex and wide-ranging assessment in a way that is accessible and useful to Therefore, it is even more important to have a clear and comprehensible structure and to come to the point. Set-up the structure of your report before writing and make sure it has a common thread.
  • During the course of a vulnerability assessment several assumptions and (normative) deci- sions are usually While they might be obvious for you, be aware that your target au-

dience will need information on all assumptions made to be able to interpret your findings.

  • Remember the target audience when presenting your A policy maker, for instance, may not need a detailed description of your methodology. Instead, they will be typically in-

terested in clearly presented key findings.

  • When illustrating your findings, prevent misinterpretations by providing all the informa- tion required for reading maps and graphs Remember that some of your readers will look at the illustrations without reading the accompanying text, so include key infor- mation in legends and design elements.”


6.1: Plan your risk-based vulnerability assessment report


There are numerous ways to present the outcomes of a vulnerability assessment, for instance, a full written report (typically internal, serving also as a documentation of your assessment), a standard report for an adaptation framework (typically public), an executive summary, or an oral presentation. Most likely, you would need at least two or three of these presentations.

A common means of presenting the results of your vulnerability assessment to an external audience, like partner cities in an adaptation framework, is the vulnerability assessment report. Frameworks like Mayors Adapt do have their own reporting standards, which may serve as orientation for structuring your report. This report should provide a clear descrip- tion of the vulnerability assessment’s objectives, the methods applied as well as the key findings. This should be a readily accessible document that gives your audience an overview, providing them with all the background information they need to interpret and compre- hend your results (BMZ 2014a).

At the end of this step, it should be clear what sorts of presentations you would need and who the target audiences for all these presentations are.



Step 6.2: Describe your assessment



In case you have identified a need for more than one type of assessment report, then a rec- ommended order for producing them would be, for example:

  1. Full (internal) assessment report
  1. Executive summary (internal and/or external)
  1. Framework report (external)
  1. Oral presentation (internal and/or external)

An assessment report provides information on all the factors that have influenced your findings, defines underlying assumptions while supplying any additional information the reader needs to interpret the results. This is especially important in order to guarantee that the same methods can be used for repeated assessments (BMZ 2014a). Annex 9 of BMZ 2014b provides a template for a vulnerability assessment report, but your assessment report should always consider the specific objectives of the vulnerability assessment, its

target audience and their specific information needs. Vose (Vose 2018, p.68) proposes a detailed structure for a comprehensive risk assessment report. You will find it in section H of the appendix.

All aforementioned types of presentations would benefit from the narrative or story-tell- ing style, but especially for the executive summary and oral presentations the story-telling becomes most important. And, as a final recommendation, check that your presentations are consistent across the range that you would have to produce.


Step 6.3: Illustrate your findings


Maps, diagrams, and graphs are valuable and compelling tools for illustrating assessment findings. These elements represent high-level views of data, and while there is a danger of misinterpretation, when used with a sufficient description and/or legend in the context of a detailed report, they can aid understanding of outcomes (BMZ 2014a).

The “Vulnerability Sourcebook” (BMZ 2014a) already listed different chart types and how they can illustrate vulnerability assessment findings (Figure 21). The authors have selected chart types that are quite common and easy to produce and to interpret. Please note that some of the concrete examples might not readily fit the IVAVIA concepts, e.g. the stacked bar chart example shows an aggregated exposure indicator, which is not calculated as part of the IVAVIA process. Regardless of this note and in order to not reinvent the wheel, we will also include this set of chart types as recommended for illustrating IVAVIA findings.


7Figure 21: Different chart types and how they can illustrate vulnerability assessment findings (BMZ 2014a)


In 2017, the “Risk Supplement to the Vulnerability Sourcebook” (BMZ 2017) was published by GIZ and EURAC, which adapts their method (BMZ 2014a) to the risk paradigm of IPCC AR5.

There, the authors suggested just one specific addition to their module 8 (‘Presenting the outcomes of your risk assessment’, equivalent to module 6 of IVAVIA), namely “…to consider in addition to maps the use of tables and radar diagrams to visualize the results, since they communicate in one picture what each component is contributing to the risk. The results for

the single components of risk, i.e. hazard, vulnerability and exposure, are as important as the overall output, the risk. The presentation of the outcomes should therefore ideally include the results for the three components as well as the composite risk indicator.” As a hypothetical

example, GIZ showed how to compare a specific risk in two communities for two reference

time periods in a tabular form and in the form of a radar diagram (Figure 22).


Figure 22: Example of an option to present risk and its components in a tabular form and in form of radar charts (modified figure from BMZ 2017)



Figure 23 shows an example how to use radar charts for comparing risk components ‘Sensi- tivity’, ‘Coping Capacity’ and ‘Vulnerability’ for the districts of RESIN partner city Bratislava.


Figure 23: Example of a radar chart produced for the City of Bratislava