Social dimensions is a cross-cutting theme that involves considering human, social, policy, and governance factors in technical solution-building. This scope of interest includes social dimensions – equity and agent-centered design, behavior and markets, transparency and accountability, and policy and governance – as in-built components to development and implement solutions. There is interest in development of equity-based evaluation criteria, monitoring and accountability systems, finance, and benchmarking of the human costs of status-quo practices. In implementation, members are interested to engage applied researchers, policy and governance experts, and pilot sites for community development engaged in the behavioral, institutional, and cultural context of solution building for MCSC focus areas.
Within this theme is a focus on the Equitable Resilience Framework (ERF), a new methodology that redefines how adaptation and resilience planning works for the communities it seeks to support. The ERF draws on human capabilities, enhanced trade-off analysis, and knowledge convergence to ensure that adaptation and mitigation efforts improve the resilience of individuals and communities most in need. By reconceptualizing the links between resilience and equity within communities, the ERF gives researchers and practitioners better theoretical and practical tools for applying resilience to interconnected social systems across different timescales. The ERF facilitates just solutions while empowering communities that are often overburdened by environmental injustice and climate change. The ERF Initiative is led by Janelle Knox-Hayes, Associate Professor and Director of the Resilient Communities Lab.