Informal Seminar: Bridging the Useful to Used Gap in Climate Services

by Micha Werner (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education)

Council Chamber

Council Chamber


Recent decades have seen significant advances in forecasting, from short and medium range forecasting, through to sub-seasonal and seasonal forecasting. This includes continued improvements in resolution and skill at increasingly longer lead times, as well as how uncertainty can be understood, visualised and communicated. These advances also mean that climate services, which provide users with tailored climate information that may build on such forecasts, are potentially becoming increasing useful to inform climate relevant decisions. At the same time, it is acknowledged that going from a climate service that is useful to one that is actually used to support decisions is challenging. Barriers to uptake may be due to challenges in linking the information forecasts contain with actual needs of users, as well as the social, economic, cultural and policy contexts that frame the decisions users make. It is also important to recognise that users make decisions by considering multiple knowledges, including their own local and traditional knowledges, perceptions and preferences; as well as knowledges obtained through scientific data such as may be provided in a climate service.

In this seminar we explore how some of the challenges in bridging the gap between climate services that are useful to climate services to climate services that are used can be addressed. We discuss some recent work in the EU-H2020 I-CISK research and innovation project, which considers the development of a co-creation framework through which social and behaviourally informed, human centred climate services are co-created with intended users. The research also aims to unpack the different dimensions of local knowledge, and how local and scientific knowledges can be integrated. We explore some of the methods that have been used in the projects in co-identifying the needs users have and co-exploring the decisions that are made and information that is used to inform decisions; and how this then informs the co-design of climate services. We illustrate the ongoing research through the work with stakeholders in the seven living labs established in the project, as well as from other research, highlighting some of the do’s and don’ts we have encountered. This seminar intends to provoke thought and discussion, as well as sharing of experiences on how different knowledges are exchanged across the climate services value chain; with the aim of contributing to improving the uptake of climate service and realising the potential these have in supporting adaptation decisions and disaster risk reduction.

Organized by

Florian Pappenberger