Regional Adaptation Collaborative Toolkit

The purpose of the Toolkit

The goal of ARCCA’s collaboration is to share information and intelligence among regions on best practices and lessons learned. Through the ARCCA network, regions share innovative and successful strategies and determine how those strategies could be adapted to another region’s particular needs to reduce reinvention of the adaptation “wheel” while preserving regional identity and context. The four regions are also working collectively with state agencies to create formal partnerships that can make the most efficient use of our limited resources and streamline state and regional adaptation assistance to local governments.

Understanding the importance of peer-to-peer support and regional collaboration, the regions involved in ARCCA, along with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, also hope to help other regions develop their own capacity and collaborative structures.  With this spirit in mind, we developed this toolkit to to provide others with; a framework for forming a regional adaptation network; guidance for structuring a regional collaborative; and insights into effective governance mechanisms for engaging local, regional, state, and national stakeholders in adoption of new collaborative relationships. By drawing on lessons from ARCCA regions and sharing some of our tips, tools and resources, we hope to advance regional adaptation efforts more broadly.

How to use the Toolkit

Each element of the Regional Collaborative Toolkit consists of background information and general guidance, along with various resources. It is recommended that you read through the guidance for each element before you choose to examine the resources or proceed to the next element. We also recognize that each region is unique, and will face different local, state and community circumstances that will make certain sections of this report more useful than others for other regions throughout the U.S. We also recognize that forming a regional collaborative is not a linear process, and although we present these as linear chapters, users will need to pick and choose what order and process makes the most sense for their needs. The Regional Collaborative Toolkit is intended to be a living document that evolves as ARCCA’s network of regional collaborative members and partners grows and contributes.

How the Toolkit was developed

In early 2014, ARCCA members led a session at the 2014 National Council for Science and the Environment conference. In preparation for this session, members talked about the “common” or shared elements of setting up and forming a regional adaptation collaborative. These elements were shared with attendees, and the feedback was very positive. We decided to expand on the set of elements, creating a regional adaptation collaborative toolkit.

Over the last year, we have been gathering input, organizing the content and collecting supporting resources, case studies, best practices, and templates. The toolkit was also informed by conversations with a range of outside stakeholders; a February 2014 meeting hosted by Green Cities California; a November 2014 meeting hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Communities; and a research conducted by Georgetown Climate Center. Each of these conversations helped shape this content.


For their expertise and insight in reviewing this toolkit, many thanks to…

  • California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
  • Participants in an ARCCA-led session at the 2014 National Council for Science and the Environment Conference
  • Members of Green Cities California in a combined meeting with ARCCA in February 2014, facilitated by the Institute for Sustainable Communities and with funding from Urban Sustainability Directors Network and The Funders Network
  • Participants in the October 2014 Institute for Sustainable Communities led convening “Think Resiliently Act Regionally”
  • The Local Government Commission
  • Green Cities California
  • Georgetown Climate Center
  • San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative
  • The Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC)
  • The Bay Area Climate & Energy Resilience Project (BACERP)
  • The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
  • Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (Sierra CAMP)
  • The Kresge Foundation