3 years ago

Current needs for climate services in West Africa: Results from two stakeholder surveys

B. Sultan, Q. Lejeune, I. Menke, G. Maskell, K. Lee, M. Noblet, I. Sy, P. Roudier

Climate services have been criticised in the past for their tendency to only disseminate results from climate research, rather than to seek to understand and tailor to the needs of their target audiences. Two surveys have been conducted within two projects, ISIpedia and CLIMAP, to assess users' needs for climate and climate impacts information of all countries (with a foremost focus on West Africa) and for Senegal.

The joint analysis of the results showed that climate and climate-impact information is very relevant for West African respondents' activities but a number of barriers prevent existing climate services from fully fulfilling the role they could play in this respect. Consistently across both surveys, the respondents highlighted the irrelevance or the incompleteness of the information that current climate services provide, which is mostly related to the lack of high-resolution information or high uncertainties, as the biggest barriers. Both surveys showed that the lack of training to understand the provided information is also an important barrier, which calls for the organisation of capacity-building activities to ensure the uptake of the information by their target audiences.

Overall, the survey responses demonstrated the importance of stakeholder engagement to ensure the usefulness of climate services in West Africa. In addition, appropriate integration of the existing climate services within the national contexts as well as their dissemination within the ecosystem of information portals and products appear to be essential to ensure their effectiveness.

Open access
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