Creativity, Adaptability and Sustainability for the 21st Century

Edited and published by the International Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) at the United Nations University, Land, Water and People, highlights the importance of integrated drought and flood management in the context of today's unpredictable climate and economy.


Darren Swanson served the IHDP's editorial board as science writer for the publication. Click here to access the report.

The Sustainable Development Planning Network SDplanNet, is a community o practice network of government professionals and experts in Asia & Pacific, Latin America & Caribbean and Africa. It is managed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, and the African Technology Policy Studies Network.


I championed the creation of SDplanNet while with IISD and continue to advise the network's operations and act as liaison among the network's many collaborating organizations, including the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development. The network assists governments with capacity building and knowledge sharing in governance and practice for national development planning.


To learn more, click here

The Prairie Climate Resilience Project was conceived and implemented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.


I led the research effort to develop a set of indicators to better understand the adaptive capacity of agriculture in the Canadian Prairies and inform adaptation planning in the region. I also served as lead author of the report published by IISD. Click here to access the report.

This sustainable development governance book was published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2008 and features a chapter by Darren Swanson examining governance structures for the creation, implementation and adaptation of national sustainable development strategies.


To learn more, click here



The Adaptive Design and Assessment Policy Tool - ADAPTool was developed at the International Institute for Sustainable Development and piloted by four Canadian provincial governments in 2013-14.


Based on the 'Creating Adaptive Policies' guidbook, the ADAPTool gives government policy-makers an analysis tool to better understand the degree to which existing policies and programs contribute to adaptation in key economic sectors and also how adaptive the policies themselves are to changing circumstances.


While at IISD, I led the R&D phase of the ADAPTool and continue to provide advice in its application by governments to better understand their policy portfolios and how they are contributing to climate change adaptation efforts of key sectors and stakeholders.


To access the ADAPTool version 2.0, click here


To access the ADAPTool version 2.0 Guidebook, click here.


To access the ADAPTool for new policies beta version guidebook, click here.

Climate Resilience and Food Security published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development presents a framework and tool for  climate change adaptation planning and the development of indicators to monitor the resilience of national and local food systems.


While with IISD, I helped develop the framework and initiate its application in Central America. Click here to access the report.

GovernAbilities: Essential Tools for Successful Governance in the 21st Century. Governments today are challenged more than ever in three operational areas: pursuing sustainable development; being accountable to the public for the expenditure of taxpayer dollars; and anticipating and adapting to critical and cumulative risk. GovernAbilities is a term used to describe the collective pursuit of sustainability, accountability and adaptability in government.

Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development in 2014, GovernAbilities: Essential Tools for Successful Governance in the 21st Century, provides timely guidance to help governments at all levels improve their ability to effectively and efficiently pursue sustainability, accountability and adaptability.

Darren Swanson is the lead author and managed the research effort while with IISD. To access the report, click here.

Adaptability ​21

Adaptive Governance​

Adaptation Planning

Published by Sage and the International Development Research Centre, this guidebook outlines 7 essential tools for creating adaptive policies. In the book's foreword, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the United Nations Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change and TERI President, along with then IISD president, David Runnalls, describe the book as "written to help policy-makers navigate today's complex, dynamic and uncertain terrain - to help policies help people." Darren Swanson served as lead editor and co-author of the book while working at the International Institute for Sustainable Development.


Click here to access or purchase the book. 

Adaptive Policies