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Thinking about the “social” : the need for attention to contexts, framings, co-production, and complementary methodologies. WMO Forum: Social and Economic Applications and Benefits of Weather, Climate and Water Asuncion Lera St.Clair Research Director CICERO. Main points.

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Thinking about the “social” : the need for attention to contexts, framings, co-production, and complementary methodologies

WMO Forum: Social and Economic Applications and Benefits of Weather, Climate and WaterAsuncion Lera St.Clair

Research Director


main points
Main points
  • we need to know the context of the services valuated, including competing needs, limits and barriers to use information by poor people
  • limits of aggregated measures
  • role of non-economic/non quantifiable loses and benefits (more VAW, loss of place,
  • careful attention to the framing of problems and solutions
  • need for including participatory and ethnographic methods, awareness of indigenous knowledge
  • co-production of climate services is central for the saliency, legitimacy and credibility
the social dimensions
The Social Dimensions
  • Coming from social dimensions of climate change and links to critical poverty and development research one sees:
  • Climate, weather and water services are as a lot more than, complex, remote, scientific/expert issues, specially for poor people: it should lead to more wellbeing
  • We must see these services as part of a continuum of issues affecting people’s lives, choices and decisions, and the role of institutions
  • If we frame these services as fundamental human and social issues we open the creative space for new types and new forms of understanding what is that demonstrates and how to measure results in the delivery of weather, climate and water information means for people.

Sea level

Will last for > 1000 yr


95% of all deaths from naturaldisastersbetween 1970 and 2008 occurred in developingcountries (IPCC-SREX 2012)

  • WHY?
complementary methodologies
Complementary methodologies
  • to understand the benefits of weather, climate and water we need to also understand the context of developing countries and the past failures, limits and barriers to bring socio-economic development to poor communities
  • Attention to the framing of the issues
  • Looking into details often hidden by aggregative methods
  • non-economic loses and who and why wins from “bad weather”
  • Participatory/ethnographic methodologies may enable reaching out to people and “see” their context & needs

Future Africa:

Co-production of climate servicesfor transformative development

main goal
Main goal
  • To pilot innovative approaches for identifying, assessing and prioritizing the development of climate services that recognize the differential needs and capacities of the end-users, and the potential synergies and tradeoffs between local needs, national policy priorities, and available financial, research and institutional capacities in the target countries.
from information to capacity to use and respond
From information to capacity to use and respond
  • it is central to move beyond assessing climate information needs to assessing differential capacity to respond and to act on climate information that is provided.
  • information, in and of itself, does not lead to adaptation or sustainable development,
wider context of climate services
Wider context of climate services
  • we draw attention to a much wider set of issues such as differential vulnerability, poverty, inequalities, differential access to agricultural inputs and health services, lack of assets and alternative energy sources, access to markets, better basic infrastructure, public health and other policies, as well as to institutional and governance issues.
what type of knowledge is needed co production
What type of knowledge is needed: Co-production
  • Thinking about what and how to provide climate services requires efforts to ensure that the knowledge is appropriately contextualized, usable, salient and credible to different segments of societies.
  • Co-production of knowledge
    • who defines the services that matter for vulnerable sectors of society
    • Role of indigenous knowledge (for good and bad)
    • People’s own idea of what is valuable and when
trade offs in the utility and interest on services
Trade offs in the utility and interest on services
  • In order to maximize the benefits of weather, climate and water services it is central to understand the potential tradeoffs between the climate service needs of different societal segments and sectors at different scales as well as their limits.
  • In situations where basic needs are not met, delivery and reception of climate services competes with other urgent needs and stumbles on the same problems that prevent people to flourish
from projects to political processes
From projects to political processes:

Identify drivers of and barriers to institutional capacities for climate services for ongoing efforts to establish National Adaptation Programs (NAPs)

Special attention to political decision-making processes, improvement of policy processes, environmental policy integration (EPI) and legal frameworks.


NMFA/GFCS/NORAD/CICERO Meeting- “Let’s talk about the weather- and start preparing for it!” – Oslo, February 12, 2013

Why do African Farmers Need

Climate Services?

Dr. Arame Tall

Climate Information Services- Scientist, Champion

4 principles in ccafs
4 Principles in CCAFS
  • Delivery: providing timely access to remote rural communities with marginal infrastructure.
  • Salience: tailoring content, scale, format and lead-time to farm decision-making.
  • Legitimacy: giving farmers an effective voice in the design and delivery of climate services.
  • Equity: ensuring that women, poor and socially marginalized groups are served.

1) Giving Famers an Effective Voice

in the design of Climate Services

Top: CCAFS Research site of Kaffrine, arid center Senegal, whereprinciple of Co-ProducingClimate Services wasexperimentedwith. Below: Communitymembersapprovingvideo of projectactivitiestheydesigned, beforeonset of projectactivities. Credit: A. Tall

  • Opening Spaces for iterative dialogue, interaction and Co-production of climate service
  • PAR > key to involve communities, capture innovation
    • Community diaries of climate impacts, forecast bulletin boards
  • Co-production of Climate services
  • Preliminary Results of Kaffrine end project assessment
    • Increase in access, from handful in 2011 to 100% by 2012
    • Demonstrated Usefulness of received information, for all products across timescales
    • Added value to traditional forecasts
Hackmann and St.Clair 2012.

More than ever, we need new knowledge

*Integrated research

*Co-production of knowledge

*Co-production of policy