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The IMCORE project ran from 2008 to 2011 and was funded under the EU Interreg IVB programme.

VIDEO: The Couplet Node from Cork Harbour shrre their insights on the benefits of working together

 "If we were to undertake the scenario phase of the adaptation strategy process again, we would conduct it in a much more condensed and intensive way".                 Cork Harbour Case Study

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Practical tips for following the IMCORE approach to planning to adapt to coastal climate change 

The transnational working components of our adaptation strategy process were enormously helpful to all who took part, so if we had the opportunity to do so I think we would opt to include an Expert Couplet exchange visit at the outset of the IMCORE process (issue identification), and to strengthen the critical befriending relationships we forged with the NE England and Donegal couplets.

Each step of the process we undertook would benefit from the additional expertise and objective perspective offered by other ECNs, so we would choose to include a wider range of opportunities to utilize these resources more intensively in developing our adaptation strategy.


ECN knowledge exchange: Cork Harbour-Donegal-NE England
What we did

Members of the ECNs of Cork Harbour and NE England travelled to Donegal to assist in the conduct of a scenario driver elicitation workshop.

Why we did it

In order to offer material support and the benefit of our experience to another ECN, and in return to gain insight into how the IMCORE process has been implemented within a different adaptation context.

What we achieved

We utilised the driver elicitation templates that we had designed for our own workshop some months previously (which members of the Donegal ECN had observed and assisted in the facilitation of), gaining a further endorsement that the approach was of value in the scenario generation process.

Problems we had

A lack of familiarity with the issues and personalities central to coastal climate adaptation in the region were hurdles to overcome.

Solutions (if any)

The excellent and methodical preparation of the Donegal ECN made the process of getting up to speed with local contextual information relatively easy.

What we learned

Trans-ECN working is of enormous benefit to all involved, as the opportunities to provide high quality outputs through bringing greater resources to bear are equalled by the learning opportunities provided to those who offer there services. Insights gained from these kinds of exchanges are well worth the effort.


Trans-National Working Group on Scenarios
What we did

We volunteered to join the IMCORE Trans-national Working Group on Scenarios (TWG-S), a group containing Expert Couplet members from five of the IMCORE case study sites (NE England, Sefton, Glamorgan/Cardiff, East of England and Cork).

Why we did it

We decided to join the TWG-S in part to learn as much as we could about scenario development from the project's leading experts in futures research (Glamorgan/Cardiff and NE England). We also felt we could make a useful contribution to the working group's development of materials supporting scenario development as we were relative newcomers to futures work, and could thus offer a steer as to the ease of use and tractability of the materials the group produced for other partners.

What we achieved We gained an understanding of how scenarios could be developed and utilised in a range of contexts. We also provided valuable feedback and guidance on the development of a scenario methodology that is relatively straight-forward and transferable, allowing other IMCORE sites to get up to speed quickly with scenario development.
Problems we had The field of futures research was initially daunting, as it is complex and has a broad (and diffuse) literature.

The support of the other Expert Couplets in the TWG-S allowed us to focus directly on the aspects of futures research which were of greatest importance and significance to us. We were also able to benefit from their prior experiences in developing scenarios, allowing us to avoid some of the pitfalls of futures work while exploiting its strengths.

What we learned

The ease with which we gained an insight into the demands of scenario development would not have been possible without the support of the other (more experienced) members of the working group.


Training of Trainers Event, Cork Harbour, October 2010
What we did

We hosted a Training of Trainers event, bringing representatives of each of the Expert Couplet Nodes to Cork to participate in a two-day workshop on developing an adaptation strategy. The content of the workshop was generated by the NE England Expert Couplet.

Why we did it

The majority of the Expert Couplets were moving from scenario development to strategy formulation, which is an important transition point in the development of an adaptation strategy. We therefore felt the time was right to offer a contextual over-view of the process as a whole.

What we achieved The NE England Expert Couplet developed a unifying adaptation strategy formulation process, guiding the other project partners through its various stages over the course of a two-day workshop. We gained a very useful sense of perspective from our participation in the workshop, learning precisely where and how the various tasks we had engaged in would interconnect to culminate in the formulation of an adaptation strategy.
Problems we had Prior to the Training of Trainers event, we hadn't fully appreciated the need to integrate each stage of the process fully with its linked stages.

The provision of a clear and comprehensible process for the development of an adaptation strategy allowed us to quickly see the key interdependencies between stages, and where necessary, re-visit what we had previously taken from each stage to meet the needs of subsequent stages.

What we learned

We learnt that no one stage of the process can be evaluated in isolation; each stage must ultimately support and successfully integrate with others in order to produce an adaptation strategy.


Backcasting workshop, Cork Harbour
What we did

We arranged for Jeremy Hills of the NE England Expert Couplet to come to Cork to help us with the facilitation of a backcasting workshop.

Why we did it

We felt that our stakeholders would benefit from the introduction of an external facilitator in the later stages of our adaptation strategy process. We felt that the lines of communication we had, though strong, would be enhanced through the introduction of a fresh (and objective) perspective to reflect on what we had achieved to date and what remained to be done.

What we achieved In some respects we re-invigorated our adaptation strategy work, bringing fresh ideas to the table and offering our stakeholders a new perspective on their own input into the process.
Problems we had We had a very short time to bring Jeremy up to speed with our local circumstances, and to make clear to him where we needed to move to next with our backcasting work.

We found that the short period of time available to brief Jeremy worked in our favour. Rather than gain too much of an 'insiders' view of the work we'd conducted to date, Jeremy was able to take a more objective overview of our progress and make some useful suggestions of where we could improve.

What we learned

Refreshing what can be long-term periods of stakeholder engagement with an alternative, outsiders perspective can be useful in moving forward when local energies begin to flag. 

This learning portal brings together the results and lessons learned from the IMCORE project. This project was funded under the Interreg IVB programme from 2008 to 2011.

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