Climate Information Services Research Initiative

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The Climate Information Services Research Initiative (CISRI) seeks to generate knowledge and evidence to inform the development of climate information services that effectively meet African farmers’ decision-making needs in a variable and changing climate.

Valuable research exists on the impact of climate fluctuations on farmers and the types of climate-related information farmers need for decision-making. However, a thorough understanding of how climate information services can best contribute to farmers’ livelihoods and the factors that determine effectiveness remains inadequate.

Thus far, research has failed to inform the design and delivery of climate information services investments in sub-Saharan Africa adequately. Addressing these gaps requires better understanding of the context in which information services operate, documenting how, why and under what circumstances farmers access and use climate information services, and testing which approaches are most effective. Findings will reveal opportunities to update climate information services programs in ways that better protect and advance the livelihoods of farmers.
 

Guiding questions in CISRI’s efforts to improve climate information services

  • What does existing research reveal about factors influencing farmers’ access and use of climate information services, and the circumstances under which climate information services benefit livelihood outcomes?

  • What are the range of challenges farmers face in accessing and using climate information services in different socio-economic contexts? Are the interventions currently in use to overcome these challenges effective?  

  • What are the best methodologies for evaluating the impact of climate information services?  

  • How can learning and evidence be incorporated into processes for improving the design, implementation and evaluation of climate information services efforts in the future?

CISRI will address these questions through four components: 1) synthesizing the existing evidence, 2) conducting systems analysis of climate information services, 3) piloting evaluation approaches in selected climate information services in Rwanda and Senegal, and 4) supporting the uptake and application of learning from the project.
 

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Synthesis of Evidence
Synthesis and critical analysis of existing knowledge on climate information services will identify strengths and weaknesses with respect to knowledge, evidence and evaluation methods.
Systems Analysis of Climate Information Services
Participatory systems mapping and analysis will help identify lessons, inefficiencies and breakdowns in climate information services, including those within broader agricultural information and market systems. These findings will inform the development of good practices to improve future climate information investments and interventions.
Piloting Evaluation Approaches in Select Climate Information Services
Methodologies to evaluate the uptake and effectiveness of existing climate information services will be developed and piloted, targeting identified knowledge and evidence gaps.