As you begin work in your region, it is imperative that you have processes to track outcomes and report on activities to your stakeholders. Securing long-term engagement is going to depend on participants’ ability to understand the value of the regional collaborative, and their ability to justify their investment of funds or staffing to support the collaborative.
The amount and type of information to track and share may vary, depending on the regional adaptation collaborative. One potential process feedback mechanism is formal and regular collaborative meetings such as the quarterly public networking meetings put on by the San Diego Climate Collaborative. Another mechanism might be newsletters, which both San Diego and the Capital Region Collaboratives put out. Yet another mechanism might be the use of a needs assessment such as the Bay Area Collaborative developed which can be used to inform the direction of a collaborative. Another format is to fold feedback into your workplan as LARC will be doing with their “Framework.” Whatever approach is taken, it’s important that the activities and outputs align with the overall goals of the collaborative so the feedback supports learning and maturation of the collaborative over time.
Members and subscribers tell us that the CRC biweekly newsletter is a valuable resource… the newsletter connects members and readers with funding opportunities, tools, and the latest research, and also provides a means by which the CRC can share its own events, key issues, and opportunities.
-Shelley Jiang, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
In the early stages of work, regional adaptation collaborative members might gather with stakeholders and focus on providing process-oriented feedback. As the collaborative matures, members might be able to shift focus to project-oriented feedback, examining completed projects and their impacts.
Feedback is also essential to the long-term fiscal viability of a regional adaptation collaborative. For example, in order to prove the value of membership dues a collaborative must clearly communicate its worth to members and hear and respond to valid criticisms.
A collaborative with intentional processes for gathering and providing updates on progress on a regular basis will be equipped with the information needed to shape future efforts in an effective way.
Tools & Resources
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative produces a biweekly newsletter called “Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News”, with summaries and links to news and resources, case studies, and upcoming events. CRC also holds quarterly meetings featuring presentations and interactive discussions about responding to climate change impacts in the region and how regional partners can work together to leverage adaptation opportunities. Participants also share additional leverage opportunities and identify next steps to help sustain and enhance the Capital Region’s resiliency efforts.
The San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative holds a quarterly Public Agency Network meeting for staff from all of the region’s 18 cities, County, and major public agencies to coordinate climate planning, best practices, and lessons learned. The quarterly meeting is held in different locations around the county and the host agency will offer a tour of a relevant location to build awareness of lessons learned and actions in the region. In addition, the Steering Committee for the Collaborative meets monthly to advance projects, set priorities and conduct other general management activities.
The Bay Area Climate and Energy Resilience Project, with funding from the Kresge Foundation, completed a needs assessment and proposed action plan for adapting to climate change in the region. The needs assessment was based on interviews with more than 100 climate adaptation stakeholders in the Bay Area. Stakeholders were asked what are they doing on adaptation, what they need from a regional network, and what were the actions that require joint collaborative action, The needs assessment also included four reports looking at plans for engaging the public, governance strategies, “win-win” strategies, and scientific information. The needs assessment identified the specific work actions that were undertaken by BACERP in the following months.
The Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC) will synthesize the regional strategy into a written framework, titled A Greater L.A.: the Framework for Regional Climate Action and Sustainability. In addition to a biannual written report, the Framework will appear as a living web-based suite of resources that provide guidance, planning support, resources, tools, data, model policies and ordinances, and a strategic atlas of regional climate action and sustainability policies. This allows for continuous updating and enriching of the regional strategy. What will result is a guidebook and strategy that stands as a model for true climate action that can be copied and utilized by communities throughout the country.