Bringing together international insight on evidence-based policy, including academic scholarship, government records and other grey literature, and reports from think tanks and the not-for-profit sector, with a focus on how governments across Australia and New Zealand can increase their ability to incorporate evidence into the policy decision making process.

Ensuring effective outcomes and implementation for climate adaptation policy: reviewing a co-designed, stakeholder-engaged, evidence-based approach to decision-making

Climate change is the public policy problem of our time. Practically, much responsibility for facing this challenge falls to local governments. Current scholarship indicates that nationally and internationally they are often under-resourced and ill-equipped to respond.

The process of formulating climate adaptation policy by local government often suffers from shortcomings in both policy formulation and implementation. This project aims to design and pilot an integrated best practice framework for evidence-informed policy and implementation. It will develop an integrated best practice framework for policy formulation to be tested by local governments in climate adaptation policy.

Integrated assessment of local governments’ coastal adaptation planning and practice

All South Australian coastal councils are exposed to changing climatic conditions. Some are already directly responding to the effects of enhanced erosion and flooding. The challenges faced by SA’s coastal councils vary considerably. There also exists great variability among councils in terms of their resourcing, capacity, and readiness to act. It is not known how successfully councils are adapting. There is much to be learnt from councils’ collective experiences across South Australia.

With funding from the Department for Environment and Water’s Coastal Research and Development Grant scheme, CASPR has commenced a project that will evaluate implementation progress of adaptation actions by all coastal councils across South Australia.

In keeping with national trends and priorities, much effort has been exerted in South Australia on coastal adaptation planning. South Australia has developed a tiered adaptation program guided by the state’s strategic framework and implementation plan, and has invested in regional and local government risk and vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans.

It is not clear the extent to which existing adaptation plans have proven to be effective, or whether they are being implemented. This lack of evidence presents a key limitation for further progress in preparing for and responding to change. Developing this understanding can provide the basis for an integrated and well-coordinated framework for coastal adaptation investment and guidance.

There is therefore great scope for this CASPR study to directly inform development of statewide policy, as well as policy for specific coastal local councils.