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ADAPTool: Beta version for creating new policies

Publication Overview

ADAPTool: Beta version for creating new policies

Policies that cannot perform effectively under today's complex, dynamic and uncertain conditions run the risk of not achieving their intended purpose; instead of helping, they may actually hinder the ability of individuals, communities and businesses to cope with and adapt to change.

ADAPTool for Creating New Policies is the first guidance tool to draw on the underlying principles for intervening in complex adaptive systems.

This Microsoft Excel-based tool is designed for policy-makers who are considering or are in the process of formulating a new policy, program, strategy or initiative. The Adaptive Design and Assessment Policy Tool (ADAPTool) for new policies will help policy and program designers articulate key future stressors that may affect relevant sectors, stakeholders and the policy performance itself. These future stresses can include climate change, volatile market prices, demographic pressures or any other driver of change that can potentially have a big impact on policy performance. ADAPTool for New Policies will also help you create a policy that can adapt effectively and efficiently to changing conditions brought on by such stressors, a critical functionality for the turbulence and complexity of the 21st century. ADAPTool is intended for use in designing policies, strategies, programs or legislation. We use the term "policy" in this guidebook to refer to any or all of these categories.

ADAPTool for New Policies is based on the 2009 book Creating Adaptive Policies: A Guide for Policy-Making in an Uncertain World, which was co-authored by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

The process of applying the tool is interactive and iterative. Ideally, it should be led by a policy designer who has had previous training in adaptive policy-making. For maximum efficiency, this person should work closely with someone who has knowledge of the proposed policy and related issues. For information on training courses for adaptive policy-making, visit

The tool is best applied in parallel with the overall policy design process, the latter being the means by which the overall policy objective and specific purposes are conceived and vetted.

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