New York City Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice
At a Glance
Climate Justice/Energy Equity
New York, NY
The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Climate & Sustainability hired Carolyn Townsend to develop a protocol to evaluate NYC programs for racial equity and social justice.
The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Climate & Sustainability (MOC&S) is committed to implementing programs that serve all New Yorkers and standardizing a procedure to measure how well their programs address systemic inequities. MOC&S hired Carolyn Townsend to develop a protocol to evaluate NYC programs for racial equity and social justice. The framework, titled the "EJUST Protocol," would help the City identify gap measures to ensure accountability when implementing future climate programs and to address identified gaps in real time.
Townsend approached the framework by completing qualitative and quantitative analysis using the NYC Accelerator program, an energy efficiency technical assistance program, as a pilot for the framework.
The qualitative analysis consisted of a survey of the NYC Accelerator team. The survey evaluated the extent to which the team understood and prioritized equity as it applies to the NYC Accelerator and to identify any gaps in community engagement during program development and implementation.
For the quantitative analysis portion, Townsend created an interactive map and scoring system to visualize the relationship between 26 inequity indicators and the program. The indicators were separated into five categories and transformed into a scoring system. Townsend then conducted a statistical analysis to evaluate the strength and direction of the relationship between the equity indicators and the NYC Accelerator projects.
The survey results indicated there is a disconnect between intention and execution of programmatic objectives. The NYC Accelerator team should embed equity as a central component of the program and re-administer the survey annually to measure staff alignment.
The mapping exercise indicated a positive relationship between the overall inequity score and the location of Accelerator projects, meaning that as the inequity score increases, so do the number of projects in that community district. The program should target community districts with more disadvantaged communities for program marketing and outreach. This framework will be adopted by other MOC&S programs to ensure benefits are equitably distributed to New Yorkers.