The concept of transformational change has gained traction among climate change and sustainable development decision makers and practitioners, in recognition of the fundamental, radical changes in economic activity required to meet the global goals for climate and sustainable development. Transformational change refers to system change, rather than singular, stand-alone development, and involves multiple actors at multiple levels of society.
The Transformational Change Methodology defines transformational change for GHG mitigation and unpacks this definition to provide a stepwise approach to determining the extent to which a policy is truly transformational. The methodology has been met with interest by governments, financial institutions and programmes as a basis for assessing the expected or achieved transformational impact of policies and investments towards alignment with the global goals.
The methodology is applicable to all sectors, policies and actions.
Full Assessment Guide
This section introduces the purpose and intended users of the guidance, and discusses the types of policies or actions that the guidance can be applied to. It also explains the objectives that the users may have in assessing the extent of transformational change. Determining the assessment objectives is an important first step because decisions made later during the assessment are guided by the stated objectives.
This section introduces the concept of transformational change in the context of emissions mitigation and sustainable development. The guidance also defines transformational change for the purposes of the assessment.
The section gives an overview of the assessment steps and outlines the principles to guide users in the assessment. It also gives a few insights into assessment planning.
How to describe the policy or action being assessed and the vision for transformational change
This section provides guidance on how to describe the policy or action, and the vision for transformational change, decide whether to assess an individual policy or a package of related policies, and choose whether it is an ex-ante or ex-post assessment.
This section presents a framework to understand transformational change characteristics. It defines the transformational change boundary and the assessment period, and has guidance to choose transformational change characteristics relevant for a policy or action.
The section is meant for users undertaking an ex-ante assessment. It includes guidance on assessing the starting situation, which is useful to understand the extent to which a policy or action triggers a shift away from carbon intensive and unsustainable pathways. Barriers to transitioning the system and describing the starting situation for each transformational characteristic are both useful as a reference point here. The section then discusses steps for conducting an ex-ante assessment of policies to understand the extent of transformation expected in the future.
This section is applicable for users conducting an ex-post assessment. It provides guidance on assessing the starting situation to understand the degree to which a policy or action has triggered a shift away from the carbon intensity and unsustainable trajectory. It also describes the steps for conducting an ex-post assessment of a policy to understand the extent of transformation achieved.
Monitoring helps to follow the performance of a policy or action and determine whether it is on track. Reporting the results, methodology and assumptions used helps to ensure that the impact assessment is transparent and gives decision makers and stakeholders the information they need to properly interpret the results. This section helps users in developing a monitoring plan and tracking key indicators over time to assess progress and determine whether the policy is on course to achieve the desired transformational impacts. It also includes a list of recommended information to be included in an assessment report.
Interpreting the assessment results is important for learning and decision making to promote transformational change. This section provides guidance on how to understand assessment results and apply insights gained at different stages of planning and implementation in the policy and action cycle.
This section provides examples of indicators for various process and outcome characteristics.
Stakeholder participation can enhance the assessment of transformational impacts of policies and actions. This section notes the steps in the assessment process where stakeholder participation is recommended, why it is important, and where to find additional guidance on it.
This section provides an alternative approach to compiling the qualitative assessment using a mathematical approach for aggregation for users that wish to do so. It can be used either for ex-ante or ex-post assessment.
Glossary, abbreviations and acronyms, glossary references, and contributors