Co-exploratory climate risk workshops: Experiences from urban Africa

jclimriskClimate Risk Management, April 2016
A. Steynor, J. Padgham, C. Jack, B. Hewitson, C. Lennard


Co-production is increasingly recognized as integral to appropriate use and uptake of climate information into decision-making. However, the success of co-production is contingent on an innate understanding of the context in which it is being implemented. Climate knowledge co-production in Africa is unique and requires a nuanced approach because of the immediacy of a myriad of decision challenges on the continent, thereby making it more challenging to engage decision-makers in co-production processes around climate. Given these challenges, the process described here, referred to as “co-exploration”, was designed to complement the multi-stressor decision-making context of various African cities. Users and producers of science work together in an equitable framework to co-explore the urban decision-making space. While the dialogue has potential to inform the development of the science, it is not an explicit expectation of the process.

The paper describes the context for a place-based co-exploratory analysis of climate risks, the elements and steps incorporated in the approach, reflections on the effectiveness of this approach in addressing multi-stressor, place-based decision-making and the challenges that still remain in further refining the approach. The co-exploration approach is complementary to the objectives of the Global Framework for Climate Services and provides lessons for uptake of climate information into urban adaptation planning in Africa.