Hello and welcome to Week 4 of the discussions. I am Fiona Percy, your moderator for this week. I work with CARE International on climate services in a number of programmes in Africa, including WISER. As a development and humanitarian NGO we are interested in how climate information can support farmers, pastoralists, local sector service providers and others to make more informed decisions for adapting to the felt impacts of climate change and climate variability, so that their livelihoods and incomes are climate resilient and climate risk proof.
The question for Week 4 introduced by Bruk is: Technology for gathering and disseminating reliable climate information has improved, but climate information should be accompanied by services that communicate, train and help users understand how to interpret and act on the information received.
- From your past experience, do the end users understand the climate information received?
- What do you think can be done to improve the flow of information from the Meteorology / Climate Services and Agencies to the general public (end users)?
Again we are dealing with complex and challenging issues. The questions for Week 4 have raised more questions than answers for me – which I encourage you to consider in this week’s discussions. How can we combine scientific information with local knowledge so that it is better trusted and relevant – also recognising that climate information is only one of several factors that inform users decisions for action? What opportunities can we create to enable interaction and discussions among providers, sector experts and users? - which help users to understand better what information is available and how to work with the uncertainties involved? - Which help providers to learn what information and products will be of value to users? - Which enable collective interpretation and ‘coproduction’ of advisories and communication plans?
Adaptation, risk management and climate resilience are the larger goals within which climate information services can be better valued and understood. This may lead to increasing demand and a more demand led service provision. How can NMHS and climate services engage actively in such initiatives and what is their role? And how can the science and its interpretation keep up with a growing demand?
CARE has developed a range of approaches which helps climate information ‘users’ to not only access information, but to participate in localising and interpreting it for use. Click on the climate services tab at this link: http://careclimatechange.org/our-work/alp/ for information on these approaches and their impacts so far. The most popular approach supports seasonal decision making using participatory scenario planning (See: https://careclimatechange.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ALP_PSP_EN.pdf) to collectively interpret and communicate seasonal climate forecasts and advisories. Learning from these has shown several important points to consider, for example: end users are not passive recipients of information, their understanding, trust and confidence is increased when they are able to relate the information to the local context and participate in its interpretation. (See: http://careclimatechange.org/courting-complexity-climate-services-lessons-participatory-scenario-planning/)
Enjoy the continued discussions!