Applying the Knowledge Product Evaluation (KnoPE) Framework to Two Urban Resilience Cases in the United States

Published in: Environmental Science & Policy, Volume 107, pages 7–22 (May 2020). doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.01.018

Posted on RAND.org on February 27, 2020

by Kathleen M. Ernst, Benjamin Lee Preston

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Urban decision-makers are increasingly focused on enhancing community resilience in anticipation of more frequent and intense impacts from climate variability and change. These impacts will manifest in complex and nuanced ways, particularly when coupled with additional social, economic, and environmental shifts that vary across contexts. Given these challenges, urban decision-makers are seeking new knowledge, and new ways of using existing knowledge, to support decision-making processes. In response, a broad range of knowledge products (i.e. decision-support tools, climate services) have been developed for urban areas. Yet, to date, little research has directly evaluated these products. The Knowledge Product Evaluation (KnoPE) framework addresses this gap by providing both conceptual clarity surrounding knowledge products and a structured, generalizable methodology to guide research and support improved knowledge product creation and uptake. The KnoPE Framework combines data and information on knowledge products, their use in decision-making over time, and evidence of tangible actions taken. The KnoPE Framework was developed with two urban resilience knowledge products—the Urban-Climate Adaptation Tool and the Maine Flood Resilience Checklist. Initial testing indicates that the KnoPE Framework can assess the transferability, scalability, and use of knowledge products in urban resilience decision-making. Any evaluation using the KnoPE Framework requires a thorough understanding of the contextual details of each case and understanding what factors may influence knowledge product development and subsequent decision-making processes and outcomes. Yet, as an analytical entry point for the evaluation of knowledge products, the KnoPE Framework can offer insights regarding the extent to which knowledge products influence urban resilience decision-making processes.

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