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Mediation training module: PACT

The PACT module, developed for the EC Mediation, gives organisations a detailed analysis of their capacity to take climate resilient decisions plus guidance on their next steps.
  • Level: Advanced
  • Time commitment: 1-2 hours
  • Learning product: Tool/method summary
  • Sector: Multi-sector
  • Language: English
  • Certificate available: No

You may have arrived here from the Mediation Adaptation Pathfinder:


Since 2013 PACT has been rebranded as Climate Capacity Diagnosis & Development. The CaDD service has been provided and developed by Climate Sense and Trioss. New developments have predominantly been in 2 key areas:

  1. Identifying systemic interdependencies more effectively to identify “hot spots” where capacity development will have greatest impact (higher capacity isn’t needed everywhere all of the time)
  2. Gaining a deeper understanding and capturing new behaviours that are emerging, particularly from high capacity organisations that are innovating and mainstreaming new practice.

Read more about CaDD here.

Background to the method

The PACT tool gives organisations a detailed analysis of their capacity to take climate resilient decisions as well as guidance on their optimum next steps to improve that capacity (there is also a PACT tool for climate change mitigation). This guidance takes the form of a tailored action plan to develop the organisation’s capacity that builds upon what they already do well.

PACT can be used for many purposes, ranging from reviews of single organisations to multiple organisations that form a system of organisations. Those organisations who complete an online PACT inquiry receive a tailored roadmap showing how they can move directly from assessing the status of their climate change programme to planning improvements in it.

What does it do?

  • Provides a benchmark of an organisations progress on addressing current and future climate change.
  • Helps organisations understand the challenge they face, and the level of capacity needed to address it.
  • Shows organisations how to improve their approach to addressing climate change.
  • Uses what an organisation already does well as a foundation on which to develop new approaches.
  • Uses the benchmark to monitor progress against (informing progress reports to relevant internal and external stakeholders)

Examples of applying the method

PACT works as well for multi-national corporations as it does for local authorities. PACT is used by single organisations, departments within organisations and groups of organisations working in partnership and can be used across every economic and social sector.

Here are just a few examples of what PACT has been used for:

  • Reviewing the Dutch Government’s National Adaptation Strategy (arguably the most advanced strategy of its kind in the world)
  • Strategic analysis of a Fortune 100 organisation’s supply chain vulnerability to climate impacts
  • Reviewing the adaptive capacity of 21 European cities to inform good practice sharing and coaching processes
  • Future-proofing innovation in investment banking
  • Climate proofing food security value chains in developing countries
  • Benchmarking progress with local authorities and businesses
  • Comparing progress on climate change mitigation and adaptation for a Government Agency
  • Industry analysis for the UK Government’s first Climate Change Risk Assessment
  • Focusing peer to peer learning exchange for a regional climate change partnership
  • Diagnosing opportunities and barriers for progress by Water companies
  • Informing robust reporting (e.g. to shareholders & regulators)
  • Providing climate change and change management consultants with a delivery plan for their clients.

Strengths and Weaknesses


PACT provides organisations with a comprehensive benchmark of their adaptive capacity and a detailed description of their next steps to develop that capacity. The online tool allows this to be done quickly, efficiently, and at comparatively low cost. The benchmark of capacity can be used for monitoring progress and reporting internally and externally. The PACT Action Plan defines an innovative plan of action. PACT dissects an organisations climate change capacity challenge into manageable chunks, and has been independently reviewed by UKCIP as being the most comprehensive tool in measuring and developing adaptive capacity. Weaknesses:

PACT informs organisations what needs to be done, it cannot define exactly how they should do it for every circumstance. The Alexander Ballard debrief is therefore highly recommended in order to assist with translating it into specific circumstances.

Applying the method

Organisations log-in to an online interactive PACT Inquiry. They are then asked questions about how climate change information is used and managed in their organisation, paying specific attention to nine key complementary organisational capacities critical for climate resilient decision-making: awareness, agency; leadership, agents of change; working together; learning; operational management; programme scope & coherence; and expertise.

The interactive inquiry tailors its questioning based upon the answers being given. This ensures that the questions being asked remain relevant and meaningful to the particular organisation completing the inquiry. Once the PACT inquiry has been processed by experts, the results provide each organisation with an understanding of the level of climate adaptation capacity the organisation has (i.e. ‘adaptive capacity’), and what capacity it needs. If there is a gap between these two positions (which there almost always is) PACT provides a detailed description of the capacity development challenge the organisation faces, and the optimum next steps to address that gap. PACT is able to do this for organisations that are just starting out on the agenda right through to those who are leading the way.

Organisations who have completed a PACT Inquiry receive a PACT Summary Report, outlining their challenge (aimed at top team / board level discussion), and a PACT Action Plan, detailing the actions they are doing well, those they are partially doing, those that are planned, and those that are not implemented yet but need to be (aimed at delivery management level). These reports are combined with a debrief of the results, the reports, and what they mean for the organisation from one of Alexander Ballard Ltd’s PACT experts. This gives an organisation not just a map of their path to climate resilience but teaches them how to read it.

Added value of the method for the field of climate adaptation

It is only at the point of making decisions that organisations can decide to do things differently. The capacity of organisations to make climate resilient decisions remains scarce. Yet organisations, by their very nature, are responsible for some of the largest climate vulnerable decisions that there are. Most organisations will be vulnerable in some way or another. In an effort to support climate resilient decision-making there is a growing and vast quantity of information about climate change and climate impacts, and the types of technology and options available to address them. This valuable information and associated technologies are essential parts of the solution. However, PACT recognises that the availability of information and technology does not necessarily lead to raised awareness about the agenda and how to tackle it. Likewise, even if awareness is raised, it does not necessary lead to any meaningful action. PACT provides organisations with a route map on how to use information to raise awareness that leads to meaningful actions that apply appropriate technologies accordingly. PACT helps organisations design strategies that will lead to the changes they need to make in order to make climate resilient decisions.

PACT was developed by Alexander Ballard Limited. The CaDD service has been provided and developed by Climate Sense and Trioss.

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