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Informing African Climate Services

Thursday 29 June 2017, 14:00 - 15:00
Anna Steynor, University of Cape Town
School of Earth and Environment Map Room 10.125, Level 10


Anna is currently the Head of Climate Services and Stakeholder Engagement at the Climate System Analysis Group, University of Cape Town.  She has also previously worked at the UK Climate Impacts Programme and was part of the team leading the roll-out of the UKCP09 probabilistic projections from 2006-2011.  She has a background in physical and applied climate science, with a current research focus on the communication and use of climate information.  She is also responsible for implementing and managing ‘research into use’ projects at CSAG as well as implementing capacity building initiatives.

Current research foci include investigating the use of psychological concepts to assess their efficacy in increasing uptake of uncertain climate information, an investigation of climate change terminology barriers within transdisciplinary groups and co-exploration and co-production of knowledge in urban Africa.  Anna is also a researcher in the Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) project as part of the Future Climate for Africa Programme.


The field of climate services – conceptualizing, designing, delivering, using, evaluating and improving such services – is rapidly emerging internationally.  However, the need for and readiness to supply and make use of climate services is far from uniform across regions of the world.  Emerging from the African context are nuances that mean not all climate services are easily transferrable to the African setting.

Understanding the individual actors, processes, needs and context of decision-making is critical for providing services that are robust for uptake into decision-making.  This requires considerable time and investment in co-exploration, co-production, co-design and transdisciplinarity.  But are these processes really being achieved in a meaningful way that moves beyond consultation?  What does true transdisciplinarity and co-production look like?  And how do we achieve them within the constraints of the traditional funding paradigm?  These are critical questions that require unpacking if we want to improve delivery of effective climate services in Africa.

This seminar, hosted by the Sustainability Research Institute and the Centre for Climate Change Economic and Policy, reflects on the experiences from working in various climate services projects in an African-based climate research group.  This includes the Future Climate for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) project as part of the Future Climate for Africa Programme.  The seminar hopes to unpack and discuss some of the key research questions emerging from the African climate services context.