Approaches to Evaluation of Climate Assemblies

Dr Jayne Carrick, KNOCA

May, 2022

Key insights

  • Approaches to evaluations of climate assemblies are currently inconsistent. Evaluations of the first wave of national climate assemblies range from participant satisfaction surveys and aspects of the deliberative process, to more comprehensive evaluations, typically commissioned by sponsoring bodies.
  • Evaluations of deliberative processes, such as climate assemblies, is necessary to develop best practice. The OECD (2021) has recently published guidelines for evaluating deliberative processes. The guidelines, which are not specific to climate assemblies, are based on threesteps, broadly representing elements of evaluation that occur before, during and after a deliberative process: (a) process design integrity, (b) deliberative experience and (c) pathways to impact.

Most evaluations omit the following elements recommended by the OECD:

  • The involvement of stakeholders in process design
  • governance and transparency
  • accessible, neutral, and transparent online tools
  • member privacy and aftercare
  • commissioning body’s response and follow up.

Evaluations of climate assemblies have included ‘climate specific’ elements not captured by the OECD guidance, including:

  • Participants’ pre-existing views on climate change and climate change policymaking, used to assess the demographic representativeness of the participants, and to provide a benchmark for attitude change.
  • How climate change science and solutions are framed
  • The contribution of the proposals to reducing greenhouse gases and limiting global warming to 1.5℃.