Supporting Transformative Climate Communities through Evaluation

Supporting Transformative Climate Communities through Evaluation

Posted on

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 8:02am

 

The Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI) is the evaluator for California's new and ambitious Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program. Funded by and linking together many California Climate Investments, TCC empowers communities impacted by pollution to choose their own strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve local environmental, health, and economic benefits ─ all with data-driven milestones and measurable outcomes. TCC takes a uniquely place-based, community-driven and comprehensive approach involving many strategies cutting across multiple sectors. 

LCI and partners at the UC Berkeley Center for Resource Efficient Communities are developing a plan to help define and measure those outcomes, and then will implement the plan in order to assess progress and results from the first $140 million invested in three place-based efforts in Fresno, Ontario, and Watts. The evaluation plan will also support project success and assessment in later grant rounds. 

Evauation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using data to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and projects, and importantly, to contribute to continuous improvement. Evaluation is both a process and an end result to meet internal and external program needs. Currently, the LCI team is laying the foundation for an evaluation that could:

  • Support successful implementation of TCC grants: Clarify and specify the often-unidentified intermediate steps between activities and intended impact, to ensure that all appropriate details are in place for successful implementation; then identify what processes are working and allow for feedback to grantees to support course corrections if necessary to ensure success.

  • Assess progress and results: Quantitatively and qualitatively assess project/program progress and then results. Evaluation is critical to capture the array of transformative, program-wide benefits and rigorously demonstrate linkages between the TCC Program and those benefits.

  • Analyze aggregate benefits: Could demonstrate the value of the place-based initiative model, and how TCC exemplifies it, by showing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (i.e. the evaluation will assess whether/how the TCC projects collectively result in transformative benefits that go beyond individual project-level benefits). This is important because TCC takes a uniquely place-based, community-driven and comprehensive approach involving many strategies cutting across multiple sectors.