This paper discusses the development and initial trials of a readiness assessment methodology intended to support more informed, ethical and effective processes of project development and stakeholder engagement within an evolving and increasingly challenging context of  Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) in England and Wales. In particular, it considers how and to what extent this approach to readiness assessment can be considered an example of social innovation.


In the context of FCERM and climate adaptation, the researchers conclude that social innovation ‘on the ground’ is necessary but not sufficient: The scale of the challenges associated with climate change means that social innovation within communities and institutions needs to be supported by changes at the levels of national (and international) policy and discourse. Nevertheless, the projects discussed in the paper also demonstrate the value of investment in experimentation and collaboration, especially where this brings different stakeholders into dialogue to explore the ideas and assumptions that guide their work, and to enhance their readiness in the process – including their readiness to engage in social innovation.


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