FLOOD RESILIENCE COMMUNITY PATHFINDER EVALUATION
The increase in the risk of flooding as a result of extreme weather and climate change make it essential for local authorities and communities to take ownership of this issue. Defra (Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs) provided grant funding to 13 local authorities throughout England under a new Community Flood Resilience Pathfinder Scheme aimed at stimulating community action to increase resilience. The measures developed included property-level protection, flood resilience groups, volunteer flood wardens and community champions, engagement with more vulnerable groups and efforts to increase financial resilience.
The CEP-led evaluation followed UK Government good practice guidance - specifically the Magenta Book. It includes a Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) to provide an overview and synthesis of the available evidence on the topic to inform the development of an evaluation framework. Team coordinators worked with each of the pathfinder projects to understand their focus and priorities and any methods of evaluation they had put in place. The evaluation was carried out over the entire pathfinder period and reported on the progress made by the individual projects and on the results and impacts of the scheme, identifying lessons for building community resilience in the future.The evaluation also used a series of indicators of community resilience to evaluate changes in outcomes within the Pathfinders.
The evaluation built on Cutter et al.’s (2010) model for categorising community resilience capacities/resources and discussed the pathfinder project interventions in terms of the five resilience categories: social, institutional, infrastructure, economic and community capital.
The CEP consortium included: the Flood Hazard Research Centre at Middlesex University; the University of Surrey; Northumbria University; the Centre for Evidence and Policy at King's College London; and nef consulting Limited.