AbstractIn many regions around the world, Regional Climate Forums (RCOFs) provide seasonal climate information and forecasts to decision-makers at regional and national levels. Despite the two decades of experience, the forums have not been systematically monitored or evaluated. To address this gap, and to better inform nascent and widespread efforts in climate services, we propose a process-oriented evaluation framework derived from literature on decision-support and climate communication around the production and use of scientific information. We apply this framework to a case study of the Caribbean RCOF (CariCOF) where we have been engaged in a collaborative effort to integrate climate information and decision processes to enhance regional climate resilience. Our examination of the CariCOF shows an evolution toward the use of more advanced and more diverse climate products as well as greater awareness of user feedback. It also reveals shortfalls of the CariCOF, including a lack of diverse stakeholder participation, a need for better understanding of best practices to tailor information, undeveloped market research of climate products, insufficient experimentation and vetting of communication mechanisms, and the absence of a way to steward a diverse network of regional actors. Our analysis also provides insight that allowed us to improve our climate services framework to include mechanisms to respond to changing needs and conditions. Our process-oriented framework can serve as a starting point for evaluating RCOFs and other organizations charged with the provision of climate services.
Weather, Climate, and Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Oct 20, 2017
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