State-Wide Strategic Framework to Support Place-Based Regional Adaptation

We worked with DELWP to develop a Theory of Change; guidance materials for regional adaptation planning; and a MERI framework for Victoria's regional adaptation program.

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Lead: Dr Karyn Bosomworth

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) sought independent expert advice to co-design a long-term state-wide strategic framework to support place-based regional adaptation planning.

We collaborated with DELWP and the regions to co-develop:

  • a Theory of Change for their ‘Supporting Our Regions to Adapt’ (SORAd) program;
  • guidance materials to support the development of region specific Adaptation Plans in Victoria; and
  • the monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement (MERI) framework for that program. 

We used an iterative, co-design approach that involved the RMIT research team, the Australian Resilience Centre, the DELWP Adaptation Policy Team, and DELWP Regional Community and Partnerships Teams.

The guidance materials aim to help users understand the complex drivers (ecological, social, cultural, political, ethical, economic, etc.) of risks and vulnerabilities, in order to build adaptive capacities and address key ‘leverage points’ within a region or ‘sub-region’.   

Approaching adaptation as a multi-stakeholder, learning-based practice, the project used concepts and methods from adaptive pathways planning, transitions management, sustainability science, and systems and resilience thinking. The multi-agency, multi-disciplinary group also recognised that we create adaptation through our practices and relationships. We therefore actively worked to acknowledge how our own frames, narratives, and positions shaped the guidance materials and will shape decisions and actions made through using the materials.  

The DELWP regions are now using the guidance materials to develop their regional adaptation strategies and annual adaptation action plans. We are working with some of them through those processes. 

Key People


Naomi Rubenstein
Associate Researcher