Capturing the whole picture for a Climate Challenge Fund evaluation
It’s a common question – how to capture the bigger picture of community action in a Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) project. How can the myriad benefits, which lead to a strengthening of resilience against shocks such as economic downturn and climate change, be assessed? These can include a sense of shared purpose, skills development and personal improvement, supporting the local economy, biodiversity and positive links to other communities - in addition to the required GHG saving.
We have recently undertaken an evaluation for Local Food Works (LFW), an initiative led by Falkland Centre for Stewardship, whose activities include a regular food market, workshops, vegetable & fruit growing and community meals.
As well as a complete GHG assessment for the purposes of CCF reporting, a survey of participants was undertaken to capture the fuller benefits of activities. These results were considered with reference to a ‘resilience compass’, developed by Nick Wilding and others in 2011.
This considers four dimensions of community resilience:
- Healthy and Engaged People: including physical and psychological well-being, strong and healthy personal relationships, connection to nature, learning and sharing new skills
- Creating a More Localised Economy Within Ecological Limits: creating meaningful locally based livelihoods that are less dependent on fossil fuels, positively stewarding the local environment and resources
- Cross-Community Links: external networking, links and partnerships with groups in other communities
- Building a Creative, Inclusive culture: social inclusion, social justice/equity and openness to creating/exploring different/novel ways of working, support for social and technical innovation
A very good survey response by the LFW participants showed that food is a great way to bring people together and integrate within and across the community (see figure). LFW has offered something for much of the community and provided a focus for integration. It scores well against all four dimensions of the compass, which shows a rounded approach providing resilience for the community.
This evaluation report is helping to inform future initiatives and funding applications, report to project participants and inform residents and the wider Fife community.
 Wilding, N., 2011. Exploring community resilience in times of rapid change. What is it? How are people building it? Why does it matter?,Dunfermline.