Estelle Rouhaud of the Future Climate for Africa's UMFULA project says that 'co-production' of climate knowledge sounds like a wonderful aspiration, but is far from easy to achieve in practice. [more...]
Managing a country’s economy, deciding where and how to build settlements or major infrastructure, investing in new research and facilities for public health, setting priorities for farming and food policy and the use of water: these are just some of the areas that will be affected by climate change in the future. They could also hold the keys to climate change solutions. Many more people will need to make use of climate knowledge in the future to support them in making sound decisions.
The scale of climate and development challenges is overwhelming and calls for fast and innovative action which goes beyond business as usual. There are no one-size fits all solutions or blueprints for how to tackle climate change. However, by testing new approaches and reflecting on emerging experiences we can learn collectively to find new ways to respond. This also means bringing new stakeholders and partners together to co-create solutions with them and create a mix of perspectives to address complex and contested problems.
CDKN’s team are communications experts. We understand what makes different audiences ‘tick’. We don’t just package climate change and development stories in a way that makes them relevant, accessible and highly shareable. We know from our experience and from the field of social communications research that face-to-face communications reach people the best. A recommendation to change policies and practices is most likely to be understood, interrogated and acted on when the message is delivered in person. We have an ongoing public affairs programme of highly interactive events.
In a world of limited resources, in-person communication isn’t always possible. That’s why we develop knowledge products that are used in online training courses and discussion fora and that can be shared easily on social media. This is important for engaging broader audiences.
We also know that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ way to get the message across. People respond in different ways: to texts, images, audiovisuals or a combination of these. The more diverse formats we can use, imaginatively, the more we increase our chances of catching and holding people’s attention and help people have critical conversations about climate change with each other – even in ‘virtual’ spaces.
Finally, because the amount of online climate information leaps exponentially every year, we realise people could feel lost in a sea of information. As leading partners in the Climate Knowledge Brokers Group, we invest in and test technologies that will improve people’s ability to navigate among online sources and find the climate information they need.