• Do more with your content!Discover PreventionWeb Services
  • A systems perspective to climate services

    Email sent!

    An email has been sent to the email addresses provided, with a link to this content.

    Thank you for sharing!


A systems perspective to climate services

Source(s):  United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

By Olga Krylova, Robert O’Sullivan, and Ali Blumenstock

What needs to come together in order to get a timely rainfall forecast to Senegalese farmers for the growing season? How can meteorologists in Rwanda ensure that their data and analyses benefit local populations? The USAID-sponsored Learning Agenda on Climate Services has examined and elevated the concept of climate services as a holistic system that connects stakeholders, such as farmers and meteorologists. During its final workshop in Washington, D.C., attendees shared perspectives on effective delivery, uptake and use of climate services, as well as priority areas for future research, investment and programming. Three overarching messages emerged from the workshop presentations and discourse.

1) User-centered design methodologies need to be better synthesized and shared

To better serve users of climate information services (CIS), it is critical to identify relevant users, understand those users’ needs, and develop CIS that meets the intended users’ needs. The Climate Information Services Research Initiative organized key knowledge gaps about CIS users and their needs into a coherent set of questions for further research and proposed what is needed to answer or fill those gaps in knowledge.

Good practices for CIS design and implementation
CISRI efforts point to good practices for CIS design and implementation. Read more. Image: WMO

Pilots of a new participatory systems mapping approach for CIS showed the potential to bring actors together from across the system – ranging from farmers to national meteorological services. The resulting dialogue can identify blockages in information flows and build trust among stakeholders. It can also establish consensus around practical solutions to improve the effectiveness of the system.

2) Strengthened partnerships and enhanced coordination of investment in climate services are key to deliver global priorities

Stakeholders across sectors can form partnerships to help drive improvements in the CIS system. Donors and governments should coordinate more closely and look across their entire portfolio for opportunities to strengthen the CIS system and create partnerships. National coordination can be improved via national frameworks for climate services under the World Meteorological Organization Global Framework for Climate Services. Regional climate outlook forums maintained by the WMO strengthen delivery of consensus-based, user-relevant climate outlook products at regional level. 

WMO Regional Climate Outlook Forums
Figure 2: WMO Regional Climate Outlook Forums. Read more. Image: WMO

WMO/GFCS national frameworks for climate services
Figure 3: WMO/GFCS national frameworks for climate services. Read more. Image: WMO

Some prominent examples of collaboration include: the WMO Public Private Engagement Framework, the Global Weather Enterprise multi-stakeholder initiative, the WMO-World Bank Hydromet Alliance, and the WMO-GCF Memorandum of Understanding. As new partnerships form, they will be well-served by more research and dissemination of lessons that emerged from the workshop. 

3) Public-private partnerships can strengthen CIS production

The private sector can help improve CIS outcomes, but important issues are raised, such as data access and exchange (including the public’s right to access basic climate data/services) and revenue-sharing between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) and the private sector. Private sector involvement is a major focus for the WMO, and their Public-Private Engagement Policy Framework should create a level playing field for NMHSs and the private sector and outline equitable ‘rules of engagement’.

A level playing field for public-private engagement in CIS
Figure 4: Sustainable CIS project emphasized importance of creating level-playing field for public-private engagement in CIS. Image: WMO

Private sector engagement in CIS data generation and delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa
Figure 5: Private sector engagement in CIS data generation and delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa. Image: Sustainable CIS project and Winrock International

Moving forward with a system approach to CIS

Taking CIS forward in a way that best serves the communities facing risk will hinge upon a holistic, systems-based approach that uses a portfolio of investments to improve services. We must remember the complex, context-specific nature of CIS, and that the mandates of NMHSs vary from country to country, as do the risks, needs and vulnerabilities of communities. The production, delivery and use of CIS involve multiple processes including interpretation, access and application, with numerous factors affecting each of these processes. Climate information systems and interventions to improve them should be tailored to specific regional and national circumstances with particular focus on capacity-building and improved procedures. This is a key to achieving sustainability.

Add this content to your collection!

Enter an existing tag to add this content to one or more of your current collections. To start a new collection, enter a new tag below.

See My collections to name and share your collection
Back to search results to find more content to tag

Log in to add your tags
  • Publication date 21 Feb 2019

Please note:Content is displayed as last posted by a PreventionWeb community member or editor. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNDRR PreventionWeb, or its sponsors. See our terms of use