weADAPT – Knowledge Brokering on Climate Adaptation
The demands for climate change adaptation knowledge are widening and constantly evolving, thereby requiring a dynamic and collaborative response. In this context, weADAPT is a collaborative web-based platform aimed at enabling practitioners, researchers and decision-makers across the world to easily access and share knowledge relating to climate adaptation. The content of the platform spans from guidelines for interpreting and analysing climate information, to methods for assessing social and climate vulnerability and tools to support adaptation decision-making.
Jesse DeMaria-Kinney at Oxfam is the programme coordinator of Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) and his experience as a user of weADAPT has been fruitful:“weADAPT has provided ASSAR with an excellent open space for sharing our latest research findings in order to reach a diverse audience of practitioners, researchers and policy-makers. As ASSAR research identifies adaptation barriers and enablers as well as potential adaptation responses, the weADAPT community will also serve as a valuable tool for outreach and learning.”
weADAPT is based on a distributed partnership model, collaborating with many different organisations, with strategic development and operational management provided by Stockholm Environment Institute’s centre in Oxford, UK. Personalized relationships are developed between weADAPT Editors, Knowledge Managers and users to produce high quality content. With today’s proliferation of platforms and overload of climate-related information, weADAPT takes into account the specific needs of users and works to deliver information in a tailored way, going beyond generic knowledge-sharing with the aid of a semantic tagging system in place, called the Climate Tagger. This cutting-edge technology was developed together with the international non-profit organisation REEEP and utilizes open data to scan, sort and enrich specialist areas of climate knowledge. weADAPT’s web-based technology is complemented and strengthened with face-to-face capacity-building on climate adaptation issues through workshops and training programmes, which in turn widens the network of content contributors.
One of the aims of weADAPT is to foster collaboration and build an enduring community of practice. This is essential for building adaptive capacity over the time horizon required to address climate change. One way of reaching this aim has been to work together with the Climate Systems Analysis Group at the University of Cape Town on the integration of weADAPT and Climate Information Platform (CIP). Linking the two platforms provides users of both access to climate data (both historical and projected), tools and methods for analysing climate data, interpreting climate information, assessing vulnerability, and planning adaptation.
A key way of encouraging and supporting weADAPT and CIP users (mainly from the vulnerability and adaptation community of researchers and practitioners) to make use of the resources available in both platforms was to develop clear, simple, structured guidance on why and how one might navigate between the two sites in order to address a specific question or knowledge need.
The integration has been attracting much attention and interest among our users and we are currently developing new ways of working with CIP, ensuring we are making the best use of both the growing body of climate data and the innovative suite of technologies available today to facilitate shared learning and action on climate change.
Text by weADAPT.