2nd International Conference on Evaluating Climate Change and Development - “Tackling a Key 21st Century Evaluation Challenge”

2nd International Conference on Evaluating Climate Change and Development

“Tackling a Key 21st Century Evaluation Challenge” - Washington, D.C. - September 9-11, 2014

 

 

Introduction

Several critical climate change and evaluation events have been scheduled for 2014 and 2015. First, the global community will transition from achieving targets related to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are expected to prominently feature environment and climate change issues. Second, the long anticipated climate change agreement is expected to be reached in Paris at COP21 in December 2015. And third, prior to this event, the UN will host a high profile Heads of State’s Summit on Climate Change in New York in September 2014. Meantime, 2015 has been declared International Year of Evaluation with several events planned around the world to raise the importance of evaluation to decision making and project and program formulation.

These events are expected to highlight the urgent need of tackling the devastating effects of climate change, as recently confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fifth Assessment Report. But these events also point to the crucial importance of evaluation and climate change evaluation in particular to the overall quest of ending poverty and achieving sustainable development.

Since the 2009 UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen, there has been a relatively positive response to the call to increase climate finance and investment. This growth has resulted to a surge in demand for evaluative evidence that demonstrates what is working, why, how and under what circumstances. Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut answers to these questions.

 

While climate change evaluation practice has made considerable progress in addressing difficulties linked to methodologies, approaches and adaptive tools to evaluate interventions, challenges are far from over. Some of these challenges are further compounded by the fact that climate change interventions take place at different scales in different environmental and socio-economic contexts and geographical regions of the world. Examined from the lens of the often complex interactions between climate change and other established development areas such as natural resources management (NRM) and food security, these dilemmas are further exacerbated. The global evaluation and the climate change evaluation community in particular will have to deal with these difficulties in the 21st century.

 

In recognition of the need to urgently and collectively address these challenges so as to draw credible evidence capable of meeting current and future demand, the Climate-Eval Community of Practice, hosted by the Global Environment Facility Independent Evaluation Office (GEF IEO) and other bilateral partners will organize the 2nd International Conference on Evaluating Climate Change and Development.

 

This will be held on September 9-11, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The 2nd international conference will build upon the gains made by the first one held in Alexandria, Egypt in 2008. But unlike the 1st conference, this one pivots around emerging challenges of the evaluation of climate change mitigation and adaptation and the policies and its relations to established development areas.

Proceedings of this conference are timed to feed into the current and future rethinking of the international development architecture while specifically shading light on best practices, indicators, tools and approaches to evaluate climate change mitigation, adaptation and the nexus between climate change and development areas such as natural resources management (NRM), food security and other related development fields.

 

 

Specific Objectives of the conference

1)       To learn from recent efforts to evaluate the results and impact of policies and programs of climate change interventions, including the relationship to other development areas.

2)       To review and analyze new and emerging approaches and methods to evaluate climate change policies and interventions and to identify gaps and challenges for future work.

3)       To identify innovative and emerging learning and knowledge sharing strategies to enhance the utility of climate change and development evaluations.

4)       To provide additional support to strengthen capacity in developing countries to undertake evaluation of climate change interventions.

 

 

Call for Abstracts

Central to this conference will be - three parallel streams - in which the Steering Committee is – now seeking - abstracts for paper and poster contributions. Individual practitioners, associations, donors, and academes are welcome to submit proposals in the following streams:

 

1.      Policy and program level evaluations

2.      Evaluating climate change adaptation

3.      Evaluating climate change mitigation.

 

Contributions are invited that address the methodological challenges in these areas and/or that describe the demand for and the use made of this evaluation. Contributions that address interactions between mitigation and adaptation are encouraged. Interventions may also involve trade-offs between different development objectives or hold potential for realizing synergies among them. Evaluations that examine how these issues are dealt with in design and implementation and that assess the multiple outcomes are likely to be of wide interest.

 

Practitioners and other stakeholders are invited to propose special sessions to tackle topics such as knowledge brokerage. Meetings of representatives from professional associations, communities of practice and participants from regions are also envisaged.

 

 

Selection Criteria

The selection committee will be looking at contributions that, on one hand, clarify issues in climate change evaluation research and theory, and on the other, raise critical questions and issues that will define future practice. While proposing emerging and innovative evaluation paradigms, proposed papers should report critically on completed evaluations. Abstracts will be reviewed on the following broad criteria:

 

1.      Relevance (abstracts must be concise and coherently aligned with the conference themes and objectives as well as the target audience.

2.      Novelty and Innovation (abstract must show innovative information and/or present new or emerging developments in climate change evaluation).

3.      Advancement of Climate Change Evaluation Practice (abstract should present a significant contribution to the field of climate change and NRM evaluation and indicate how the submitted paper will contribute to the development of global knowledge)

4.      Overall Clarity and Quality of Abstract (abstracts should ensure easy understanding of issues and objectives of the paper)

5.      Originality and unpublished work (abstract must be original and should not have been previously published)

 

Papers will be reviewed by a selection committee to identify those that will be presented at the conference. Female and young climate change practitioners from developing countries are strongly encouraged to submit abstracts.

 

 

 

Submission Procedure and Structure of Abstracts

 

A 400-words abstract (maximum) in Microsoft Word format should be emailed to dakana@thegef.org not later than Friday, May 30, 2014 and must include the following information:

  1. Name and title of presenting author
  2. Email and telephone contact details of presenting author
  3. Title of the paper
  4. Name, title and institutional affiliation of author

 

 

Poster Presentations

Poster presentations combine text, images and graphics to make a visually pleasing presentation of evaluations. Poster sessions will offer practitioners the opportunity to visually present their work, network with peers, and assemble useful feedback from conference participants.

Submissions for poster sessions should be 400 words (maximum) and should be submitted in Microsoft Word. Final poster presentations should be 1.0 meter in width and 1.5 meter in height.

 

 

Exhibition presentations

An exhibition space consisting of stands that will display creative and innovative posters, brochures and other promotional and knowledge materials will be created. These stands will serve as channels for exchanging knowledge and experiences and also create opportunities for direct communication and outreach among participants, in addition to exhibiting structured dialogues.

Exhibition presentations should include a one page description of the goals of the exhibition, required materials, title, submitting association/organization and contact details.

 

 

Special Roundtable Sessions

These are flexible conference formats intended to allow extended discussion among small groups of conference participants on topics such as knowledge brokerage and other climate change evaluation related issues. Roundtables are unique opportunities for cross fertilization of ideas among peers with similar interest on common topics.

Proposals should be 400 words (maximum) should be submitted in Microsoft Word format.

 

 

Sponsorship

On submitting full papers, practitioners and other stakeholders will be requested to indicate whether they require financial support to cover expenses (travel, accommodation and daily allowance) associated with their participation in the Conference.

Further questions concerning the submission of abstracts should be addressed to David Akana: dakana@thegef.org .

 

 

Submission Deadlines

The following important dates will serve as guide to practitioners / interested stakeholders in submitting abstracts:

 

Start of submission                                                                      Thursday, May 1, 2014

Abstracts Submission Deadline                                                  Friday, May 30, 2014

Notification of Final Acceptance                                              Monday, June 16, 2014

Submission of full paper manuscripts (2000 words)              Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Conference Dates                                                                        September 9-11, 2014

 

Visit Climate-Eval community of practice for more information: http://www.climate-eval.org/events/2014-conference

And for more information on the call for Abstracts, email David Akana at Climate-Eval: dakana@thegef.org

 

 

Best wishes,

 

Dennis Bours

Steering Committee Member of the 2nd International Conference on Evaluating Climate Change and Development.

http://climate.dennisbours.com

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