Tag Archives: climate information

“Mobilizing Climate Information for Decision-Making in Africa: Contrasting User-Centered and Knowledge-Centered Approaches” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper "Mobilizing Climate Information for Decision-Making in Africa: Contrasting User-Centered and Knowledge-Centered Approaches" has just been published in the journal Frontiers in Climate. The paper, led by Blane Harvey with an author team that includes Katharine Vincent, examines the ways in which climate information was mobilized for use under the Future Climate for Africa programme. Document analysis of outputs and key informant inteviews shows that, within the programme, a total of 20 knowledge mobilization tools and approaches were identified and used. There was a complex interplay between user engagement and knowledge mobilization processes, including the strategic or flexible use and re-use of knowledge products as the user engagement process evolved. These findings have important implications for future attempts to promote improved use of climate information in decision-making.

“Climate Risk in Africa. Adaptation and Resilience” New edited book with inputs from Kulima

An edited volume "Climate Risk in Africa. Adaptation and Resilience" has just been released, documenting the experiences across the Future Climate For Africa programme. The book, co-edited by Declan Conway and Katharine Vincent, explains how adaptation is a learning process that requires the bringing together of lots of people with different knowledge and experiences. It showcases various ways in which scientists partnered and worked with decision-makers – through co-production, transdisciplinary partnerships and multi-stakeholder engagement processes – to generate decision-relevant climate information to enable effective adaptation to climate change. Case studies cover a range of African countries, including Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Burkina Faso, and sectors from agriculture to water to urban planning.

“Understanding gender differences in availability, accessibility and use of climate information among smallholder farmers in Malawi” New paper from the UMFULA project with inputs from Kulima

A new paper "Understanding gender differences in availability, accessibility and use of climate information among smallholder farmers in Malawi" has just been published in Climate and Development. The paper, led by Dr Rebecka Henriksson with inputs from Katharine Vincent, is an output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project. Ensuring smallholder farmers have access to climate information is important to enable adaptation, but access to it is strongly gendered. This study shows that both women prefer radio to access forecasts, but that women also like to access forecasts through a knowledge broker. Those farmers with higher levels of education (mostly men) prefer to also obtain forecasts via internet and cell phone. Understanding gendered preferences and barriers to climate information access is crucial for benefits of adaptation to be accessed equitably.

“Re-balancing climate services for climate-resilient planning” New paper from the UMFULA project, led by Kulima

A new paper "Re-balancing climate services to inform climate-resilient planning – A conceptual framework and illustrations from sub-Saharan Africa" has just been published in Climate Risk Management. The paper, led by Dr Katharine Vincent, is an output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project. UMFULA aimed to increase the availability and use of medium-term climate information for decision-making in central and southern Africa. Whilst the climate services field has placed a lot of emphasis on generating information that is useful and usable to decision-makers, the "usability gap" has persisted. The paper argues for more attention to be paid to enablers that need to be in place to ensure that useful and usable information is actually used. These enablers include supportive institutions, appropriate policy frameworks, capacity of individuals and agency to make decisions. 

FCFA launches a critical reflection on learning from its activities-with inputs from Kulima

Future Climate FCFA learningFor Africa has launched "A critical reflection on learning from the FCFA programme." The report is led by Julio Araujo, Blane Harvey and Ying-Syuan (Elaine) Huang, with inputs from a wider team, including Kulima director Katharine Vincent. It highlights the nature of collective learning, experiences of leadership and capacity development and knowledge co-production and research uptake over the four years of applied research on improving climate information for use in medium-term (5-40 year) planning, which was undertaken by the five consortia under FCFA, including UMFULA-in which Kulima was a partner. It recommends that flexibility should be built into programme design, transforming research and knowledge mobilisation practice, investing in Southern leadership and capacity, and evaluating impacts.

New report-Enabling climate science use to better support resilience and adaptation practice-with inputs from Kulima

A new report – Enabling climate science use to better support resilience and adaptation practice. Rapid evidence assessment for the CLARE programme – has been released. The report was commissioned as part of a series of scoping reports to inform the design of DFID's forthcoming Climate and Resilience Framework (CLARE) programme, and written by a team convened by LTS International, including Kulima director, Katharine Vincent. The rapid evidence scan aimed to answer the question "Within the process of enabling climate science to better support resilience and adaptation practice and achieve internationally agreed commitments, what is working and what is missing in its use, and which people and institutions are key contributors in this field?” It finds differences in timeframes of consideration of weather and climate information, and an ongoing persistent communication gap that impedes effective use in decision-making.

UMFULA project produces country brief “How can we improve the use of information for a climate-resilient Malawi?” with inputs from Kulima

The UMFULA project under the Future Climate For Africa programme has summarised the findings of its research in Malawi into a country brief (How can we improve the use of information for a climate-resilient Malawi?), aimed to inform decision-makers on how climate infromation can be used to build a resilient Malawi. Malawi’s geographical location, between the east and southern African climate systems, means that future climate (particularly rainfall) is challenging to predict accurately – although there are areas of agreement in climate models, notably higher temperatures and higher likelihood of extreme weather events. Given future uncertainty, it is important to design robust management options that work across the plausible range of future climate conditions. This is especially the case for large investments with long life-times, significant impacts and irreversibility, such as water-related infrastructure (e.g. hydropower or irrigation) and agricultural investments in crop-breeding. The recently-finalised National Resilience Strategy provides a policy framework to enable this, but there is also a need for coherence between sectoral policies (for example relating to agriculture, irrigation, water and energy), which requires a more supportive institutional environment for sustainable and resilient decision-making.

Importance of FCFA work with tea farmers highlighted by Malawi heatwave

A recent heatwave in Malawi has highlighted the risk that climate change poses to the tea farming sector. Future Climate For Africa's CI4Tea project has been working with tea farmers and other sector stakeholders in the southern districts of Mulanje and Thyolo to co-produce decision-relevant climate information. Occurrence of consecutive very hot days, as was experienced at the end of October, was highlighted as a major concern. Evidence of leaf scorch and the inevitable impacts on yields have underlined the importance of planning for a changed future climate. CI4Tea's work has therefore been publicised on the Future Climate For Africa website and Climate Home News and accompanied by a short film on Climate Change and Tea: Challenges for Malawi and Kenya.

Kulima participating in presentation of UMFULA project at the University of KwaZulu Natal

The UMFULA project (under the Future Climate For Africa programme) is holding meetings this week at the University of KwaZulu Natal in which Dr Katharine Vincent is participating. This includes supervision of Honours and Masters students researching water issues among commodity farmers and a writeshop to develop a paper on the use of weather and climate information by small-scale sugar contract farmers in Malawi. On Tuesday Katharine will participate in a Research on Tap Seminar at the Centre for Water Resources Research, together with Emma Archer, Rebecka Henriksson Malinga and several students, in which they will present some of the project's findings on the use of climate information in medium-term planning decisions and the case study in Malawi.

New WISER and Future Climate For Africa manual “Co-production in African Weather and Climate Services” with inputs from Kulima

The Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) and Future Climate For Africa (FCFA) programmes have just launched a new manual, Co-production in African weather and climate services. The manual, written by Suzanne Carter, Anna Steynor, Katharine Vincent, Emma Visman and Katinka Lund Waagsaether outlines building blocks and principles for co-production, distilled from a variety of experiences of co-producing weather and climate services across the continent. It is supplemented by a compendium of case studies from a range of different programmes. The manual concludes that, whilst co-production is often a resource intensive process and needs to be adequately supported both in terms of funding and time, the added value can result in significant benefits for weather and climate services.