Develop key performance indicators and gather data

A quantitative, data-driven assessment presents a clear and objective picture of baseline performance, expected effectiveness of action items, and a way to monitor progress on climate adaptation, outcomes, and community benefits. The first step is to select appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) based on specific objectives, then to obtain necessary tools and data and train staff to use them. This is necessary to help communities assess whether the goals and objectives previously set have been achieved. It also helps to identify any problems that have been encountered, and subsequently develop solutions.
A potential list of indicators to monitor the performance of the implemented adaptation options could include:

  • Average carbon emissions for heating, cooling and transport per unit of new buildings
  • Amount of housing and commercial development permitted in flood risk or vulnerable coastal areas
  • Average permeable and non-permeable surface area in permitted developments
  • Total renewable energy and /or electricity supply (energy or electricity supplied)

Quantification of risk requires a baseline dataset on asset performance from which climate change impacts can be compared against, as well as a thorough understanding of how local climate factors will influence performance going forward. Data sources include, but are not limited to: internal, provincial, federal, and online databases, as well as stakeholder consultation & surveys, and other online resources.

Examples of KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are often used to monitor and evaluate performance.  This needs to be in place so that communities can assess whether the goals and objectives previously set by the municipality has been achieved, in addition to identifying any problems that have been encountered and develop solutions.  They should consider three criteria:   Measurability, Reasonable level of effort to track, and Cost-effectiveness to track.  Some examples of adaptation-based KPIs include:

  • Amount of housing and commercial development permitted in flood risk or vulnerable coastal areas
  • Average permeable and non-permeable surface area in permitted developments
  • Total renewable energy and /or electricity supply (energy or electricity supplied) , number of assets with back-up systems
  • Average domestic/freight trip length/total distance per person/vehicle per annum
  • Average level of outdoor and indoor water use per person, household or hectares
  • Average increase/decrease of green spaces and trees
  • Number of people outdoors within walking distance from a cooling centre
  • Number of main breaks
  • Number of flooding calls to 311

Conduct a Technical Needs Assessment & Gap Analysis

Once KPIs have been identified, data will need to be logged and managed to monitor performance on an on-going basis.  This can be through an internal information system, or outsourced to a consulting organization.  How complex a municipality’s data management needs are will be determined by their size, resources, and vulnerability of assets to climate change.  A Technical Needs Assessment (TNA) identifies current technologies available, analyzes their capabilities by sector, and weighs potential solutions based on how they match the needs of the municipality.  This assessment consists of the following steps:

  • Identifying and categorizing technologies/measures for mitigation and adaptation
    • Identify possible technology options for prioritized (sub)sectors from online databases, networks, and country documents
    • Become familiar with technologies via study tours, expert lectures, and demonstration projects
    • Determine long list of technologies for assessment
  • Assessing technologies through multi criteria analysis
    • Determine assessment framework, including assessment criteria
    • Conduct assessments on technologies based on their:
      • Contribution to development goals
      • Potential for GHG emission reduction or vulnerability reduction
      • Costs and benefits
    • Use TNAssess tool (or similar) to produce assessment with overall weighted scores for each technology
  • Making final decisions
    • Review assessment results
    • Conduct sensitivity analysis on assessment results, including discussing decisions concerning weighting
    • Decide prioritization of technologies for (sub)sectors

The technical needs analysis can also include a gap analysis to identify any gaps early in the process.

Case Studies

Case Study

Metro Vancouver Climate Adaptation Environmental Scan and Gap Analysis

Metro Vancouver conducted a Climate Adaptation Environmental Scan and Gap Analysis, finding that “In terms of information sources used by project participants to assess and plan for climate change, the greatest reliance has been on provincial documents and guidelines.  Given the guidance the Province has provided in terms of flood hazard management and sea level rise, it may be appropriate for the Province to provide guidance in related fields such as climate change adaptation or risk management.”  Also, “Research specific to this project indicates gaps with respect to climate change adaptation is in the area of health, the lack of support for smaller municipalities with less resources, public education, and cyclical program funding.  From our previous work on climate change adaptation in BC and Canada, two other significant gaps are apparent and relevant to the Metro Vancouver region: the lack of up-to-date floodplain mapping and the issue of insurance.”  Partnering with academic institutions working on adaptation is also an effective method to fill in data gaps with little or no financial contribution required, while providing students an opportunity to work on real world case studies in the area of public service