Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Every NAMA needs to track GHG mitigation effects through robust Monitoring, Reporting and Verification. The Colombian Transit Oriented Development NAMA went beyond this goal and created a system to Measure and Evaluate progress and performance from beginning to end. TOD can take decades to mature, and every neighborhood and project, while sharing basic principles, is unique. “Learning-by-Doing” is the guiding principle behind a comprehensive M&E package that gives cities and national government agencies the tools, procedures and knowledge to track their TOD projects and policies over the course of years, while continually gaining insights to improve results.
TOD can be measured across many dimensions such as Urban Form, Mobility, Environment, Institutional structure and Socio-economic measures. These factors are interlinked; changes in policies and infrastructure investments lead to changes in land use, which produce changes in mobility that result in reductions in GHG emissions. And all of these changes generate a range of social and economic benefits (improved quality of life, increased private investment).
CCAP recognized that most cities, even the bigger ones, do not currently have the data for all of the desirable indicators, so we ensured that the M&E system could accommodate all levels by creating three tiers of indicators, tailored to the resources and capacity of a range of cities. And the national TOD policy roadmap includes recommendations for improving municipal capacity to collect and analyze TOD-relevant data.
CCAP worked with CIUDAT, the implementer of the NAMA, and WWF/Hill Consulting to develop an M&E toolkit for use by cities, government agencies and CIUDAT itself. The innovative Monitoring and Evaluation toolkit that CIUDAT has developed includes:
A comprehensive set of tiered indicators to track progress, outcomes and impacts (projects, policies, investments, changes in land use, changes in travel behavior and GHG reductions)
A comprehensive M&E guide for cities
A spreadsheet tool to track the indicators
A spreadsheet to calculate GHG reductions (for national MRV reporting)
A prototype web-based, GIS tool to track indicators
The Colombia TOD M&E System has 48 indicators arranged into three levels of detail. Cities can choose the level at which they are able to report.
As the pilot projects have yet to begin construction (which will happen under the FC), CIUDAT’s M&E activities are now focused on existing conditions analysis and deployment of the M&E system and toolkit. Cities receiving financing from the NSP will be required to conduct at least tier-1 M&E and MRV reporting.
A printed Implementation Guide will be delivered to the pilot cities before they start to implement the projects. The guide specifies the complete methodology to carry out the Monitoring and Evaluation of the projects at the city’s chosen Tier. It provides helpful information is packaged with accompanying tools (e.g., spreadsheets, templates for travel intercept surveys). As a subset of the overall M&E, there is a detailed methodology for the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of the GHG reductions of the projects that will feed into the Colombian Ministry of Environment’s GHG tracking system (RENARE).
The complete toolkit will also be valuable to other Colombian cities, CIUDAT and the national government for tracking progress on TOD implementation and improving performance on GHG reduction. Within the guide there is a management tool that identifies different stakeholders for the 3 tiers of data collection capability. The M&E management toolkit allows interested parties to understand the richness, complexity and value of comprehensive data collection and evaluation. The figure below illustrates the stakeholders involved in the data collection, and the overall flow of information. When the guide is applied in a particular city, this framework can be modified to adapt it to their own local circumstances and entities. CIUDAT will be available to assist the cities in navigating the toolkit and to most effectively and practically fulfill their M&E requirements.
M&E management tool shows the high level information flow
CCAP and CIUDAT have offered Colombian and international webinars to share this resource more broadly. Interest has also arisen in using the M&E toolkit and its principles on the part of other entities (CAF, IDB) and initiatives (NAMA MovE) to calculate GHG reductions and the measurement of project impacts. CIUDAT plans to develop workshops to train municipal entities in relation to the M&E tool.
CIUDAT is also exploring mechanisms for the national government to ease the costs of the implementing the comprehensive system and distribute roles and responsibilities for managing the M&E framework, hosting tools, receiving reports, etc. among the cities, CIUDAT and other government ministries. The policy roadmap, developed by CCAP and CIUDAT to promote national and local TOD supportive policies, includes robust capacity-building recommendations for cities to improve data collection and analysis.
The M&E system is just one part of an integrated, strategic approach to promoting TOD in Colombia, an approach that is already yielding results and will continue to do so into the future.