A. Incorporate in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Processes
The main purposes of incorporating CRM into Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) processes, such as the Performance Management Plan, are to ensure climate risks are adaptively managed and to capture and share learning.
Climate risks are inherently uncertain and probabilistic, and therefore cannot be predicted perfectly. Therefore, ensuring climate risks do not negatively affect USAID’s strategic objectives and the journey to self-reliance requires continued monitoring, learning and adapting as we develop a greater understanding of the climate risks and associated impacts.
At the strategy level this may take several forms. First, the design team could consider formulating several overarching evaluation questions that are considered during periodic reviews, such as the required midpoint stocktaking, to ensure the appropriate climate risks have been identified and addressed. These questions could be targeted toward the overall strategic objective or on specific sectors where climate risks are less well understood. Second, strategy level MEL processes can outline a framework for how other stages of the program cycle will approach MEL associated with climate risks. This can help ensure that the learning across all projects and activities is coordinated. Third, the design team could consider developing a contingency plan that triggers additional monitoring and learning if a large climate shock (e.g., drought, flood, cyclone) occurs to increase the mission’s understanding of how such events affect USAID’s strategic approach.
In the end, MEL processes should be designed to determine if country development cooperation strategy (CDCS) implementation is on track and expected results, including management of climate risks, are being achieved. The CRM MEL guide highlights several tools to support monitoring, evaluation and learning throughout the program cycle. For example, context indicators can help USAID understand how climate may be impacting results and can be used to inform adjustments to the CRM approach. Evaluations can help determine the effectiveness of CRM measures and if/how they contributed to activity outcomes. Learning provides an important opportunity to reflect on knowledge gaps related to climate risk management and how those can be filled through monitoring, evaluation or by other means (e.g., research).