Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder evaluation: final evaluation report

Twigger-Ross, Clare, Orr, Paula, Brooks, Katya, Sadauskis, Rolands, Deeming, Hugh, Fielding, Jane, Harries, Tim, Johnston, Ruth, Kashefi, Elham, McCarthy, Simon, Rees, Yvonne and Tapsell, Sue (2015) Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder evaluation: final evaluation report. (Project Report) London, U.K. : Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 199 p. (Joint Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Research and Development Programme, no. FD1664)


The Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder scheme was intended to enable and stimulate communities at significant or greater risk1 of flooding to work with key partners to develop innovative local solutions that: - Enhance flood risk management and awareness in ways which quantifiably improve the community’s overall resilience to flooding. - Demonstrably improve the community’s financial resilience in relation to flooding. - Deliver sustained improvements which have the potential to be applied in other areas. Defra launched the scheme in December 2012, with the announcement that up to £5 million was being made available to fund up to 20 innovative projects between 2013 and 2015. It was open to all local authorities in England. There were 45 applications with projects2 submitted by 13 local authorities from across England receiving funding. The scheme was evaluated by Collingwood Environmental Planning (CEP) and a consortium of expert project partners. Evaluating policy interventions such as the Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder scheme generates valuable information and helps understand which actions work and are effective. The purpose of the evaluation was to report on the progress made by the individual pathfinder projects, on the results and impacts of the scheme as a whole and to provide evidence to ensure that lessons can be learnt from the pathfinder scheme. A mixed methods approach using qualitative and quantitative social research techniques was used to collect, synthesise and analyse evidence for the evaluation at the baseline, interim (Year 1) and end of project (Year 2) stages. The evaluation drew on and incorporated a number of data sources (collected at the community and household levels) to provide information about the impacts and outcomes generated by the pathfinder projects as well as on implementation and process. The pathfinder project teams were asked to collect some of the data for the evaluation themselves, including: information for the baseline community indicators and changes at the end of the project; and household level information collected via household surveys at baseline and the end of the project. Triangulation of survey data with qualitative data sources has helped to address the problem of the variability of some of the data collected locally. Discussions of what the pathfinders did and their outcomes in the five different areas of community resilience are based on robust qualitative evidence and analysis which gives confidence in the evaluation.

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