ADAPTool Instructions (Beta Version)

The Adaptive Design and Assessment Policy Tool (ADAPTool) is a Microsoft Excel-based workbook designed to evaluate a suite of public policies and programs for their ability to contribute to the capacity of key economic sectors to adapt to a specific socioeconomic or ecologic stressor, such as climate change or market price volatility. A policy's ability to help stakeholders adapt to the stressor and the policy’s ability to adapt itself to the stressor is assessed by answering fifteen questions across four worksheets, as summarized below. The first six questions are entered via the tool’s online user interface, which outputs a Microsoft Excel workbook properly formatted for addressing questions 7 through 15 and completing the synthesis worksheet.

The ADAPTool is based on the book, Creating Adaptive Policies: A Guide for Policy-Making in an Uncertain World. [1]

Scope of Evaluation Worksheet:

1) What is the geographic scope of the analysis (e.g., watershed, conservation district, municipality, region, province)?

2) What is the stressor of concern (i.e., drought and excess moisture, market price instability, etc.)?

3) What are the policies/programs to be assessed?

Vulnerability & Adaptation Analysis Worksheet (for planned adaptability):

4) What are the main sectors active in the geographic area?

5) In what ways are the sectors vulnerable to the stressor?

6) What adaptation actions might be necessary to address the vulnerabilities?

7) Are the identified adaptation actions supported by the policies/programs?

Adaptive Capacity Analysis Worksheet (for both planned and autonomous adaptability):

8) Is the policy itself vulnerable to the stressor identified?

9) Does the policy enhance the capacity of actors within each sector to adapt (with respect to access to finances, technology, infrastructure, information and skills, institutions and networks, and equitable access)? [2]

10) Was multistakeholder deliberation used in the scoping and design of the policy?

11) Is multistakeholder deliberation used in the implementation of the policy?

12) Does the policy enable self-organization among affected stakeholders?

13) Is the policy sufficiently decentralized to the lowest and most accountable unit of governance with appropriate resources and capacity?

14) Does the suite of policies utilize a variety of policy instrument types? (e.g., economic, regulatory, expenditure, institutional)

15) Does the policy have a regular formal review process in place that can detect emerging issues?

Synthesis Worksheet

An aggregate ranking of planned adaptability and autonomous adaptability is provided for the overall suite of policies, as well as for each individual policy, and space provided to input specific policy recommendations identified by the analyst.

[1] Swanson, D. A., & Bhadwal S. (Eds). (2009). Creating adaptive policies: A guide for policy-making in an uncertain world. New Delhi: IDRC; Ottawa: Sage Publications.

Swanson, D. A., Barg, S., Tyler, S., Venema, H. D. et al. (2010). Seven tools for creating adaptive policies. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 77, 924–939.

[2] Based on Smit et al. (2001). Adaptation to climate change in the context of sustainable development and equity. In J.J. McCarthy and O.F. Canziani (Eds.), Climate Change 2001: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group III to the 3rd Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


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