FEATURE: Supporting collaboration between climate knowledge brokers
It is widely recognised that access to reliable information and data, and the ability to share lessons and experience, are key ingredients in tackling climate change. This is a particular priority for developing countries.
Over the past decade, numerous websites, portals and online platforms have been set up to provide such information, and more are being launched every year. But the ‘knowledge infrastructure’ within the climate and development sector is still weak. There are many data and information gaps, and many of the knowledge sharing initiatives that do exist operate in isolation from each other, risking duplication of effort.
Climate Knowledge Brokers (CKB) Group
With these challenges in mind, CDKN has been supporting the formation and development of the Climate Knowledge Brokers Group, a community of practice for organisations working in this area. Together with GIZ and PIK-Potsdam, it helped convene an initial workshop in June 2011 at which the CKB Group was established. Subsequent workshops were held in 2012 and 2013, for which full reports are available.
Read an Introduction to the Climate Knowledge Brokers Group. Further details of the group and its activities can be found on the CKB Webspace.
Geoff Barnard, of CDKN, currently chairs the CKB Steering Group.
In September 2011, CDKN issued a funding call to encourage closer collaboration between knowledge brokers, and enable better access to climate and development knowledge for development country audiences.
Seven project were subsequently funded, most of which are now at or nearing completion. They have resulted in a range of innovative new tools and online resources, and some important learning on user needs. A summary is presented below.
An interactive tool that guides users to the most suitable website for them. It has 103 initiatives included in its database and is now live via a demonstration site, and available to install free of charge as a widget on other websites.
Organisations involved: IDS (lead partner) AKP, CCCCC & REEEP
Read more about this project: Knowledge brokers collaboration: guiding people to relevant knowledge with the Climate Change Knowledge Navigator
Related stories: Knowledge Navigator helps to signpost climate and development information
reegle tagging API
This tool extracts meaningful key words from documents and provides suggestions on tags and related documents based on a specially-developed thesaurus of relevant terms. The API is in use on several leading climate websites, and is ready to deploy on others.
Organisations involved: REEEP (lead partner) SEI, IDS & OpenEI
Read more about this project: Knowledge brokers collaboration: Automated tagging tool to make finding climate compatible information easier
Related stories: A simplified way to search for energy and climate information
User-oriented analysis of online knowledge broker platforms
A detailed survey was conducted of four different Climate Knowledge Broker (CKB) user communities to understand ‘what do users actually want, and what are they willing to share?’ and develop success factors that will help platforms align better with their users’ habits and preferences. The full report & summary are available on the IISD website.
Organisations involved: IISD (lead partner), IDS, AfricaAdapt & UNDP
Read more about this project: Knowledge brokers collaboration: addressing the climate change knowledge gap through user-group analysis
Linking down-scaled climate information & adaptation to community-based adaptation projects
Created closer links and integration between three related portals with quite difference content and focus: the Climate Information Portal, weADAPT and AfricaAdapt. Two hands-on ‘user labs’ provided key insights into what users are looking for.
Organisations involved: SEI (lead partner), CSAG & AfricaAdapt
Read more about this project: Knowledge brokers collaboration: integrating global climate information and regional adaptation portals
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Linking stakeholders to integrated climate change data
Focus on integrating heterogeneous and globally distributed information sources and tailoring data into relevant content that can be communicated in a way that allows stakeholders to find and make sense of sector-specific knowledge. The improved CIP website is now live.
Organisations involved: CSAG (lead partner), UK Climate Impacts Programme & NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Read more about this project: Knowledge brokers collaboration: linking stakeholders to integrated climate change data
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InfoAmazonia Geojournalism Project
New website set up which overlays satellite imagery, aerial photographs and maps of the Amazon basin, with research data and citizen and journalist reporting on what is happening on the ground. The resulting narratives, maps and data visualisations can then be shared, so they reappear on other websites and media platforms. The InfoAmazonia website is now live and attracted over 21,000 visitors in the nine months after it was launched.
Organisations involved: Internews (lead partner) with O Eco
Read more about this project: Knowledge brokers collaboration: The InfoAmazonia GeoJournalism project
Related stories: NEWS: Interactive map highlights environmental status of the Amazon basin
Valorando Naturaleza: Reporting on ecosystems markets in Latin America
A new web platform to support journalistic reporting in Latin America on how ecosystems markets can provide a powerful tool in the effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change. 35 organisations are now submitting content. The website had 8,600 visitors in its first three months.
Organisations involved: Ecosystem Marketplace (lead partner) with SPDA
Read more about this project: Knowledge brokers collaboration: Connecting climate journalists in Latin America
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