CORDEX-Africa also creates space where climate data suppliers and users can come together to better understand the decision making context into which climate information is needed, and create understanding of how to transform climate data into usable information.

There is a concerted push to enhance the uptake of downscaled climate model information in adaptation planning and related decision making. Climate data is largely being fed into this decision space through a supply-driven process, as evident by the recent proliferation of climate data portals and tools that purport to provide a climate data “answer” in the form of a single method or single model. Often, though, users lack the capacity to evaluate the reliability of the climate projections data and thus whether the climate data can be appropriately applied to decision making. This combination of factors—an oversupply of questionable climate data and an under-capacity to distinguish information content—creates the potential for maladapted decisions and actions that impede societal efforts to respond effectively to climate change.

In response to the need for enhanced climate data literacy, START is partnering with the University of Cape Town’s Climate System Analysis Group (CSAG), under the CORDEX-Africa program, to promote a ‘co-exploration’ approach to using climate data. Successful co-exploration entails engaging a full complement of user groups (from modelers to policy makers) in defining the decision making space into which climate model data is required, and evaluating the robustness and relevance of that data in the context of actual decisions to be made, and in consideration of the multi-stressor environment that shapes vulnerabilities.

cordex_dar_2013In 2013-14, the co-exploration approach was piloted across two workshops with urban decision makers in six African cities (Accra, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Lusaka, and Maputo) involving a cross-section of participants from academia, government, and civil society. The methodology features a step-wise process that involves first identifying key elements related to urban livelihoods, infrastructure and services, next identifying important non-climate stressors of these elements that are exacerbated by climatic stressors, followed by a layered application of climate projections information beginning with coarse (GCM) data and proceeding through to finer resolution RCMs with a corresponding increase in the number and complexity of climate parameters.

START is working with UCT-CSAG to develop a more sustained program of action on co-exploration that would involve early and continuous collaboration with local actors, iterative engagement with place-based experts, anchoring of the work in active policy contexts.

For more information about the global CORDEX initiative and to read three collaborative CORDEX-Africa peer reviewed publications, visit here. For additional information on CORDEX from the partners, visit CSAG CORDEX page and CORDEX Africa Analysis Page.

More Information about CORDEX Workshops

Future Climate for Africa Pilot Country Case Study, Accra, June 2014
Download the Workshop Report
Workshop on Climate Data Exemplars, Dar es Salaam, February 2013
Download the Workshop Report
Bridging Health and Climate Knowledge in West Africa, Ouagadougou, 28 May – 1 June 2012
Download the Workshop Report
Download the French version

For more information, please contact

Last Updated on October 30th, 2014