Evaluating GLISA's Adaptive Boundary Chain Model for Climate Adaptation
Since 2011, the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) has offered small grants to a network of boundary organizations as part of a larger mission to address the risks of climate variability and change in the Great Lakes region. As part of this program, GLISA tests an experimental funding model, the Adaptive Boundary Chain Model, which seeks to link several boundary organizations to co-create usable climate science with users. To evaluate this experimental model and individual project outcomes, 16 organizations were interviewed following the completion of projects for the years spanning 2011-2014 – exploring what worked, as well as what could be improved in future iterations of the small grants project. A second round of interviews were carried out in the summer of 2019 to further understand longer term impacts associated with the projects. Results of the evaluation show that the intensity and amount of interaction between GLISA-boundary organizations and/or boundary organizations-users strongly correlated to positive co-production outcomes, relationship-building, and long-term impacts; that the model is likely least effective in research-based projects that rely on temporary funding as part of a longer-term undertaking rather than a dedicated co-production process; and the subject of resources is most in need of further research, as the complexities/difficulties inherent in analyzing/measuring an organization’s capacities and capital make isolating correlations to outcomes challenging.
Owen Watson, MS (EJ)