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EU-Canada Session 4. From Knowledge to Action: Exploring Approaches to Integrating Identified User Needs into Platform Offerings

This session explored how the needs of users are being integrated into, and addressed by, platform development.
Multiple Authors
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20 May, 2021

This session aimed to engage participants and answer questions around the importance of user needs considerations in platform offerings and how these support the ‘knowledge-to–action’ transfer in adaptation decision-making, and showcase and discuss various possible approaches for how identified user needs are being incorporated into climate adaptation platforms.. This session explored:
  1. The importance of considering and honoring users’ stated needs to support knowledge to action in adaptation: Participants reflected on elements of user needs considerations in platform offerings and barriers and opportunities to address these needs.
  2. The approaches to integrating user needs into platform offerings: Participants explored how users needs are prioritized and integrated in offerings. They also exchanged on challenges and best practices.

This event was part of the wider series of knowledge exchange events hosted by Canadian colleagues on Enhancing Connections Across Platforms.

The Final Report from this event is available to download (also on the main event page). The final report is also available in French.

The agenda, key messages and presentations from this event can be found below.


  • 10:00 – 10:10 Introductory remarks
    • Lo Cheng (CCCS)
  • 10:10 – 10:35 Context-Setting –
    • Roger Street (University of Oxford) & Lo Cheng (CCCS)
  • 10:35 – 11:00 Examples of how platforms have addressed user needs; including details on how platforms gather, analyze, prioritize, confirm, and take action on addressing user needs
    • Chris Stewart, Copernicus Training and Knowledge Transfer Officer, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
    • Andreas Fischer, Deputy Head National Centre for Climate Services, MeteoSwiss
    • Laura Dalitz, Scientific Officer, Competence Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation, German Environment Agency
    • Etienne Bilodeau, Manager, Outreach and Engagement, Canadian Centre for Climate Services
  • 11:00 – 11:05 Break
  • 11:05 – 12:00 Break-Out Group Discussion. Topics:
    • 1. Data-related products and tools (i.e. datasets, indices, decision-support tools) o Facilitated by David Huard, Science Advisor, Ouranos
    • 2. Resources (i.e. case studies, guidelines, best practices, standards) o Facilitated by Al Douglas, President, Climate Risk Institute
    • 3. Capacity services (i.e. training, client support, communities of practice) o Facilitated by Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada
  • 12:00 – 12:15 Lessons Learned
    • Lo Cheng (CCCS) & Break-Out Group Facilitators Report back on group discussions and key messages
  • 12:15 – 12:30 Concluding Remarks – Lo Cheng (CCCS)

Key Messages

Through the presentations and the discussions that ensued, the following best practices to integrating user needs into platform offerings were identified.

  • User-centred platforms: Climate services need to shift from taking a top-down and unidirectional approach to being more user-centered to enhance the usability of information.
  • User group tailored products: Depending on who is in the user group, different products should be developed, for example case studies, maps, or more advanced data sets.
  • Comprehensive stakeholder engagement: Stakeholders from a range of sectors should be integrated from the start of program planning, through to implementation and evaluation. User integration is a process and not a single step.
  • Co-promotion: Sectors and some user groups may take information more readily from other users or trusted voices and allies, rather than from service providers themselves.


User Orientated Adaptation Platforms

Presentation by Barry O’Dwyer and Jeremy Gault, from University College Cork, Ireland, on how to make adaptation platforms more user-oriented.

View on SlideShare: Session 4: Barry O’Dwyer

How the Copernicus Climate Change Service Addresses User Needs

Presentation by Chris Stewart, Training and Knowledge Transfer Officer at Copernicus, theEuropean Union’s Earth Observation Programme.

View on SlideShare: Session 4: Chris Stewart

The Swiss National Centre for Climate – A network agent and knowledge broker for climate services

Presentation by Andreas Fischer, Swiss National Centre for Climate (SNCC), on the user-centered Swiss network and platform for climate services in support of adaptation and mitigation.

View on SlideShare:Session 4: Andreas Fischer

KLiVO-Portal German Climate Preparedness Portal and networking approach

Presentation by Laura Dalitz, Competence Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation, German Environment Agency on the KLiVO portal.

View on SlideShare: KE4CAP Session 4: Laura Dalitz

Fostering user-driven climate services: An agile approach to addressing user needs

Presentation by Etienne Bilodeau on how the Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS) engages with users to better understand and address their needs.

View on SlideShare: KE4CAP Session 4 – Etienne Bilodeau

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