Topic 10: Platform architecture and technical development
Background: The KE4CAP Synthesis Report
This topic page forms a chapter of the KE4CAP Synthesis Report, which brings together learning from across all KE4CAP’s activities (see Further Resources for links to relevant pages). The KE4CAP project is providing a global forum for developers and operators of climate adaptation knowledge platforms (CAPs) to come together to share knowledge and best practices, and to work together to address common and emerging challenges.
Introduction: Platform architecture and technical development
Platforms need to be user-friendly to ensure the wide range of users can navigate the website, access relevant information in an appropriate format and understand how they can apply it to their own decision-making context. Underpinning this is the technical design and development of the CAP including the platform architecture, the user interface and any integrated features and functionality. The availability of data and information is not a limitation, but streamlining access to it, including issues such as supporting dynamic integration and interoperability with other systems, is a key task.
- User testing and co-design. To be as user-friendly to use as possible, platforms commonly take an iterative approach to development typically employing a range of co-design and user testing approaches to ensure the technical architecture and features are fit for purpose.
- Diverse content types. Most platforms contain diverse types of data and information, and the use of innovative approaches to data visualisations is a particular focus for supporting knowledge brokering and translation.
- Platform integration and interoperability. The issues of integration and interoperability are becoming increasingly important. Such networking, underpinned by technical developments, adds value by consolidating and broadening access to information, avoiding duplication of effort and limiting any unnecessary proliferation of platforms.
Intact Centre (Canada). The ‘smart’ features used by this platform – actively tailoring the content being provided to users according to their input to the platform - is a valuable innovation and one that can really improve users’ experience and thus uptake of information.
A-PLAT (Japan). Multiple entry-points, including for citizens, local government and the private sector, are designed to meet the specific needs of these disparate groups through providing tailored, user-friendly experiences, relevant knowledge and accessible resources.
Philippines. As a new suite of platforms, the issue of interoperability has been at the forefront of development. All three platforms (climate knowledge portal, the eCCET helper for risk-based approaches, Project Upturn for adaptation solutions) will be fully integrated and internally consistent, and such learning used to inform possible regional collaboration.
CSIRO (Australia). The INDRA-Pacific platform was been built to meet a specific need, but the structure was kept deliberately flexible and versatile so open-source aspects of it can be developed further by other users, thus helping to leverage developments across platforms.
- Keeping pace with technological advances is needed to ensure that users have access to the sophisticated level of interface and features they have come to expect from websites.
- User consultation and testing at all stages of platform development can take considerable time and resources, as does identifying representative cohorts of users and implementing the resulting platform updates. Such activities need to be planned and budgeted in advance.
- Developing and integrating greater interactive functionality and new social communication strategies can promote accessibility and contribute to finding a balance between digital and in-person engagement particularly in areas with poor IT infrastructure and connectivity.
Explore other topics in the KE4CAP Synthesis Report
- Topic 1: Co-evaluation, learning and capacity development to drive platform improvement
- Topic 2: Supporting and Working with Local Users
- Topic 3: The role of CAPs in supporting monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of progress in adaptation
- Topic 4: Communications, knowledge brokering and stewardship to stimulate and enable action
- Topic 5: Integration of cultural knowledge, capacities and needs into CAPs
- Topic 6: Retaining relevance of CAPs in a fast-moving world
- Topic 7: Integration and coherence across CAPs
- Topic 8: Business models and value propositions for financing CAPs
- Topic 9: Quality assurance, credibility and usability of CAPs
- Topic 10: Platform architecture and technical development
- Topic 11: Governance of CAPs
- Topic 12: Social justice and equity
Return to the KE4CAP Synthesis Report homepage >
KE4CAP survey report and participating platforms:
KE4CAP event reports:
- Virtual Knowledge Exchange events:
- Virtual KE activity 1: An introduction to KE4CAP, where we are, and next steps
- Virtual KE activity #2: CAPs: supporting and working with local authorities and other local users
- Virtual KE activity #3: Ensuring platforms’ agility in order to meet evolving user needs
- Virtual KE activity #4: Communications, knowledge brokering and stewardship to stimulate and enable action
- Virtual KE activity #5: The role of CAPs in supporting monitoring, reporting, and evaluation (MRE) of progress in adaptation
- Bilateral (partner-led) Knowledge Exchange events:
- Other knowledge exchange events: