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CECAN Fellow: Clare Twigger Ross

CECAN Fellowship: Investigating the Value of Qualitative Comparative Analysis in Relation to the Defra Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder (FRCP) Evaluation

Mentors: David Byrne, Ian Christie

The key evaluation challenge for this case study is the attribution of causality in the context of community resilience to flooding. This builds on the evaluation of the Defra FRCP scheme: 13 projects across England aimed at improving community resilience to flooding.

Community resilience frameworks remain largely descriptive making the attribution of causality challenging, not helped by the lack of time for the realization of key impacts.

By applying QCA the aim is to identify key factors that predict improved community resilience.

To validate the predictions new data will be gathered from the projects. A key methodological development will be testing QCA in a novel (flooding) complex evaluation situation to examine its feasibility for similar situations, and to assess the aspects of QCA of most use to this type of evaluation.

This fellowship builds capacity within Defra in relation to QCA through their in kind contribution.

The case study raises key complexity issues: (i) Multiple projects with wide range of stakeholders and interests within one programme; (ii) Multiple components / elements included in the policy initiative; (iii) Flooding as a key nexus issue as its management demands a focus on the fundamental interconnectedness of social and physical systems.

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