Achieving the targets — the RECONECT indicators on NBS performance

Laddaporn Ruangpan, PhD researcher from IHE-Delft, illustrates how the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) were determined to facilitate monitoring of the demonstrator areas.

The RECONECT project will monitor, upscale or implement Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in a selection of European rural and natural areas. Of course, each area has its own particular conditions, which means a different solution to activate. How do organisations select the right NBS to use? How can implementers know if the solutions already adopted are in line with the expected results?

Key Performance indicators (KPI) are measurable values that indicate whether the project is achieving its objectives. KPI, derived from variables, are the first, most basic, metrics or aspects which can be used to measure, describe or assess the change and state of sub-goals over a period of time. Each demonstrator in RECONECT has to select indicators that best meet the area needs and monitor them throughout the duration of the project, to check if they are on the right track to reach expectations. According to the particular objectives of each demonstrator (e.g.: reduce flood hazard, store river run-off etc.), different Nature-Based Solutions are proposed to meet the particular needs.

NBS literature has not universally agreed to a set of KPI to be used. Therefore, RECONECT has developed a tool to help demonstrators select the most appropriate indicators to monitor their areas. Firstly, three categories of challenges have been defined (WATER, NATURE and PEOPLE), deriving from ten challenges of the existing EKLIPSE NBS impact evaluation framework. Secondly, the three defined challenges were divided into goals (see Table 1) and sub-goals, based on relevant literature.

Table 1: Defined Challenges and Goals
Figure 1: The framework applied for the development of indicators and variables

Finally, each sub-goal contains a set of indicators, from which the demonstrators have selected the most relevant to their case. Table 2 shows the statistics of the KPI (for each goal) that have been selected by the demonstrator cases. This selection is not definitive and subject to possible changes, but it indicates the needs of the demonstrator sites in general. The most often selected indicators are those from the “socio-economic” goal, followed by indicators on “water quantity” and “habitat structure”.

Table 2: Socio-economic indicators were the most selected by demos

The most selected KPI (at least in 6 of the 10 demo cases) are displayed in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Most selected KPI

Now that indicators have been identified, RECONECT is preparing a guideline for monitoring and evaluating the most common selected indicators from demo cases. This will help some demonstrators to select the most appropriate NBS to implement, while demonstrators which already have NBS in place can evaluate whether implementation is meeting the expected results.

More information on the results of the monitoring will be provided as RECONECT progresses.

The RECONECT tool supports demo cases in the selection of the most appropriate indicators

The RECONECT project demonstrates the effectiveness of Nature-Based Solutions for hydro-meteorological risk reduction in rural and natural areas