Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation: New Directions in Identifying Users and Needs for Climate Information Services

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Africa Specialty Group, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Balcony K, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Organizers: Edward Carr, Helen Rosko
Chairs: Edward Carr


Climate information services (CIS) are viewed by the international development community as a means of meeting development goals in the context of climate variability and change. While much is made of the potential for CIS to play this role by, for example, the mitigating disaster risk and building resilience among different user populations, far less work has examined the challenges in designing effective climate services and learning from the experience of those services as they are implemented. Therefore, critical knowledge gaps exist in the literature and practice of CIS for development that may limit the potential use and scalability of CIS for further development intervention. A consortium of researchers, donors, and implementers under the Climate Information Services Research Initiative (CISRI) has conducted an assessment of these gaps, and organized them into learning agendas that can move our understanding of CIS forward rapidly and effectively. These sessions are organized around two of these learning agendas: Identifying CIS Users and Their Needs, and Monitoring and Evaluating CIS.

The integration of CIS into development agendas has shifted the emphasis of CIS from the packaging of existing climate analysis toward addressing pressing social concerns. Thus, where CIS once might have been framed around generating and making climate information available to people who might use it in whatever manner they wished, today the starting point for making an effective CIS is attention to the potential users of the service and their particular needs. In practice, however, the identification of CIS users and their needs has been problematic, based on assumptions about both users and needs, and derived from problematic methods that can overgeneralize user populations. At the same time, new practices are emerging in this area, and a host of new research is entering the literature. In an effort to organize these efforts into an effective and coherent whole, papers in this session will build on or address gaps identified in the CISRI whitepaper “Identifying Climate Information Services Users and their Needs in sub-Saharan Africa: A Learning Agenda.” This whitepaper lays out current practice and knowledge, identifies gaps in our knowledge, and organizes these gaps into a learning agenda that prioritizes and sequences a range of research questions in this area.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Edward Carr Clark University 10
Panelist Kripa Jagannathan University of California - Berkeley 10
Panelist Helen Rosko Clark University 10
Panelist Kevon Rhiney Rutgers University 10

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