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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 Research Approach." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Guidelines to Incorporate the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Measures in Preparation for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25847.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 Research Approach." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Guidelines to Incorporate the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Measures in Preparation for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25847.
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Page 12
Page 13
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 Research Approach." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Guidelines to Incorporate the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Measures in Preparation for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25847.
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Page 13

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6 Chapter 2 – Research Approach The research approach was divided into two phases. Phase I included a review of existing literature, a preliminary survey, and follow-up interviews. Phase II included development of two levels of CBAs that can be completed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of potential adaptation options, a guidebook, and this report. The end product was a guidebook to help practitioners understand how to incorporate evaluating the costs and benefits of adaptation measures into the planning process in preparation for extreme weather events and climate change. Phase I  Task 1 – Prepared Technical Memorandum: A literature review was conducted to investigate existing tools, methods, data, and models for transportation-related decision support both now and in the face of climate change and extreme weather. Each publication was reviewed against a set of criteria to evaluate the usefulness and relevance to the various components of evaluating the costs and benefits of incorporating climate change and extreme weather into transportation planning and resilience. A survey was also distributed to departments of transportation (DOTs) around the country to identify follow-up candidates for an in-depth telephone interview. The surveys were used to gain a broad understanding of the tools, methods, data, and models practitioners use; their decision-making processes; and perceived needs. The combined results of this task were integrated into a technical memorandum that contains clear, concise descriptions of available frameworks for transportation planning decision support and includes examples found in the literature review and the in-person discussions. The examples highlight how the impacts of extreme weather and climate change are factoring into current decision-making processes.  Task 2 – Conducted a Gap Analysis: Practitioner needs identified in Task 1 were treated as collected business requirements and matched against the capabilities of available data, tools, models, and methods. Needs were verified during in-depth telephone interviews. Practitioner needs vary in and between state DOTs; the data was assessed against potential levels of adaptation. This task produced a technical memorandum summarizing business requirements and available tools, data, and models for evaluating benefits and costs of transportation system adaptation measures in the face of climate change and extreme weather events. The analysis identified data, tools, and models that meet requirements articulated by the community of practice and subject matter experts, those that could meet their needs with some modification, and areas where no tools exist to meet a demonstrable need.  Task 3 – Developed a Recommended Framework and Architecture: The framework and architecture developed in this task served to organize existing tools, methods, and data for practitioner use and built on existing resources based on the needs identified in the gap analysis. The framework and architecture considered both capital cost components and non-capital cost components such as environmental impacts.  Task 4 – Developed Recommendations to Close Gaps: Based on the literature review; feedback received from the surveys, interviews, and the TRB annual meeting; and development of the framework and architecture, Dewberry synthesized available information to identify potential approaches to addressing the gaps identified in Tasks 1 through 3. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) agreed to evaluate the approaches and provide feedback on their practicality and implementability. Recommendations were summarized in a memorandum that

7 included a level of effort estimate, supported by a commensurate work breakdown structure (WBS), which identified the steps needed to address gaps.  Task 5 – Interim Report: The research team prepared an interim report detailing the work performed to date, primary research findings, methodologies developed, and results achieved. Phase II  Task 6 – Carried Out Approved Phase II Work Plan: Based on direction received from the panel during the interim meeting in October 2016, the research team developed two levels of analysis with detailed guidance on how to perform a cost-benefit analysis for each level. One framework provides a sketch-level analysis while the other framework is a more detailed climate resilience analysis.  Task 7a – Developed Practitioner Guidance: A practitioner-focused guidance document has been developed to provide information on where to find tools, data, and models; how to use this information in the context of extreme hazards and climate change; and how to complete Study Level 1 and Study Level 2 analyses as tools that could be used to support planning and decision making.  Task 7b – Final Report: The final report details the research undertaken and the process of developing the framework. User feedback on the framework and recommendations for future research and development needs are described.

8 Summary of Approach and Deliverables Figure 1 summarizes each task and the deliverables to be issued at the end of each: Figure 1. Research Approach Flow Diagram.

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Guidelines to Incorporate the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Measures in Preparation for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change Get This Book
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Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is useful for climate change response and adaptation, and if used properly, it has great potential for long-range planning. CBA should help agencies navigate the spectrum of decisions from mitigation and greenhouse gas reduction to adaptation: where does investing public funds generate the most public good?

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Web-Only Document 271: Guidelines to Incorporate the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Measures in Preparation for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change is published as a companion document to NCHRP Research Report 938. It includes two frameworks that were developed for the project to allow practitioners to conduct CBAs to a level of detail they deem appropriate; a sketch-level analysis can serve as a screening tool to evaluate if adaptation is even appropriate, while a more detailed climate resilience analysis can help to answer the question, “How much can I spend on an adaptation project and have it remain cost-effective?”

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