Welcome to the Monitor and Evaluate Heat Action module! Concurrent with heat planning, you will define and begin tracking key performance indicators to measure impacts of solutions. The process of monitoring and evaluating projects and policies begins from the early planning stages of their development and should be ongoing as the project or policy changes or is completed. Your indicators should measure both climate and human health impacts to holistically evaluate effectiveness.
This module provides best practices on monitoring and evaluating heat resilience and preparedness interventions. Ongoing measurement allows you to foreground community feedback and modify policies and interventions as needed to maximize impact and reduce potential harms. To support ongoing monitoring and evaluation, it is a best practice to create a data collection plan to track key performance indicators over time.
Essential Actions, Outputs, and Outcomes from this Module
Solicit community feedback (directly from community members or through partner organizations) as a continuation of community engagement in the project and policy co-creation process.
Track key performance indicators such as temperature reduction, increase in albedo, increase in tree canopy, and health outcomes to measure the impacts of the project or policy.
Utilize collected data to evaluate the success of the project or policy through data visualizations and summaries.
Publicly report progress at periodic intervals to keep the public and other stakeholders informed and engaged.
Key performance indicator documentation.
Learn how to conduct a baseline assessment.
Identify key performance indicators.
Create a data collection plan.
Know how to assess the success of messaging efforts.
Establish how to conduct an after-action review following a heat wave.
The Essential Actions, Outputs, and Outcomes include the core elements of the more comprehensive approach described throughout the rest of the module. We know that time, resources, and capacity can limit the breadth and depth of interventions you undertake. Simply beginning to explore these modules and consider what solutions are appropriate for your context is a critical step toward building your jurisdiction’s heat resilience. At any point, reach out to Arsht-Rock using the contact form at the bottom of the page with questions and comments.
Monitoring and evaluating heat resilience
Monitoring heat projects and policies will reveal successes and failures in reducing heat impacts, as well as what aspects of the project may need further elaboration or investment. If you wish to scale, extend, or prove the effectiveness of the project, continuing to include and engage community members following a project co-creation process and gathering qualitative and quantitative data is an essential step.
Depending on the source of funding for the project, information on project budget and impact may need to be measured to report to the funder. Additionally, policymakers and practitioners often expend political capital to initiate and implement heat related projects. Demonstrating and communicating the effectiveness of projects can increase the popular support for and political capital of government leaders.
For guidance on monitoring implementation of climate action plans, explore C40’s framework, technical resources, and case studies.
For guidance on monitoring and evaluating individual adaptation actions, explore Climate ADAPT’s Urban Adaptation Support Tool.
For guidance on designing and rolling out a participatory approach to M&E, see Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation, Reflection and Learning for Community-based Adaptation from CARE.
Heat Resilience Project Metrics
Click below to see the types of key performance indicators that you can use to track the impact of heat resilience projects.
Monitoring is an ongoing process in an ever-evolving project or policy environment, while evaluations periodically assess project impact, both intentional and unintentional, at a deeper level. Demographic change, unexpected changes in climate, and other factors can drastically alter the context within which the project or policy is being implemented. Often the impact of projects will grow over time and a continuous approach to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) will reflect change over the short and medium term.
Designing a monitoring and evaluation process
Establish a clear timeframe for monitoring (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.), what success metrics are essential to your stakeholders, and who is responsible for tracking and evaluating such indicators. Success metrics should be determined based on the priorities of community members who are most impacted by the project or policy, as well as any requirements from funders. For long-term projects, quarterly or annual reports may be beneficial or required by funders. The M&E plan can be as robust and detailed as your capacity and resources allow.
- South Africa
For an example of how the Republic of South Africa is conducting M&E, see pages 11-14 of its National Climate Chance Response Monitoring and Evaluation System Framework.
For how the City of Ahmedabad is monitoring and evaluating its Heat Action Plan, see pages 15-17 of the City Resilience Toolkit produced in its partnership with the Natural Resource Defense Council, and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, among others.
For an example of how the city of Sydney is monitoring the implementation of a sustainability plan for Greater Sydney, see the monitoring and reporting page of the Greater Cities Commission of New South Wales, Australia.
Using the outputs from M&E
The outputs should be used to evaluate the success of the policy or project. This may be formalized in a report for either government leaders or the public. It should also be used to inform future measures, building on lessons learned including what was successful in this project and what could be improved upon. If you wish to expand the project, such as moving from a pilot in one area to the entire city, the outputs are helpful in informing the expansion.
Resources on utilizing M&E outputs
For an examination of how to use M&E to assess how successful communication around heat warning communication was, see page 18 for an example from a pilot project in Karachi, Pakistan, involving the START Network and other partners.
- United States
For an example assessment of how successful cooling centers have been over the long term in Arizona, United States, see pages 9-10 of an article by Berisha et al. published by the American Meteorological Society in 2017.
For how to integrate M&E climate finance related measures into existing M&E frameworks, see page 11 of A Snapshot of Global Adaptation Investment and Tracking Methods, produced by Climate Policy Initiative.
Common challenges in effectively monitoring and evaluating heat resilience interventions
M&E can be time-consuming and sometimes involve significant staff work. If leadership changes during the M&E process, buy-in for the investment needed may decline. Building robust M&E processes will allow for significant data to be captured and presented to new leadership to demonstrate the benefit of these policies. Additionally, the timeframe for success may be longer than outside forces prefer and staying the course may prove to be a challenge. M&E plans may need to be revised. Staying flexible and adaptable will help you track the projects in a sustainable way, and ensure that your work is making a positive impact.