Rome, 23 February 2022 – Transformative climate change adaptation (CCA) solutions are needed to achieve related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets by 2030, and to avoid catastrophic consequences. Evaluations can play a pivotal role in this regard, as they are critical for building-up the evidence-based knowledge base of CCA solutions. Suppiramaniam Nanthikesan, Lead Evaluation Officer, Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), delivered this message during his presentation at the 3rd International Conference of Asia Pacific Evaluation Association (APEA) and EVALFEST.
“We are 8 years from 2030. Moreover, the IPCC 2021 report points to an urgent need to act. Therefore, ‘good is no longer good enough’. We need transformative solutions”, affirmed Dr Nanthikesan.
Organized New Delhi, India, from 21 – 25 February 2022, this year’s APEA Conference & EvalFest captured broad spectrum stakeholder participation. The overarching theme underpinning the events was ‘Towards a Vibrant Evaluation Ecosystem: Creativity, Collaboration and Convergence’. The topic reflected the need for the evaluation ecosystem to be energetic and dynamic in order to respond to the emerging and evolving evaluation arena, with pro-active thinking.
Dr Nanthikesan delivered his presentation on 23 February, during the session ‘Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change: Lessons from Evaluations’. Moderated by Geeta Batra, Chief Evaluation Officer and Deputy Director, GEF Independent Evaluation Office (GEF IEO), the session also saw presentations and interventions by Debbie Menezes, Chair, Adaptation Fund Technical Evaluation Reference Group, and Anna Viggh and Gabriel Sidman, Senior Evaluation Officer and Evaluation Officer, respectively, at GEF IEO.
Moving away from anthropocentric approaches to agriculture was at the centre of the arguments that Dr Nanthikesan advanced. Agriculture is critical to human life. It is severely impacted by climate change, while also contributing to climate change when climate adaptation solutions do not ensure environmental resilience. In this highly complex context, many governments face significant challenges to incentivize sustainable climate adaptation responses. Ensuring an evidence base for for holistic CCA solutions that build climate, environmental and developmental resilience together is critical for ramping up climate finance and environmentally sustainable agricultural policies and practices. Evaluations could and should be looked upon as having the potential to play a critical role in this regard.
The Asia Pacific Evaluation Association (APEA) is a regional evaluation network that aims to improve the theory, practice, and use of evaluation across the Asia-Pacific region. The Evaluation Community of India (ECOI) is a voluntary organization of professional evaluators, established in 2015 with objectives of promoting evaluation culture in the country and contributing to evaluation capacity building. APEA has organized two regional evaluation conferences in 2016 and 2019 and ECOI has held two knowledge-sharing events in 2018 and 2020 (EvalFest 2018 and EvalFest 2020). The two bodies have now come together to organize their first joint ‘evaluation knowledge-sharing’ event.
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