Climate information services for adaptation: what does it mean to know the context?

Zack Guido, Chris Knudson, Donovan Campbell, Jhannel Tomlinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Climate information services (CIS) can reduce climate vulnerability by enhancing information access, knowledge exchanges, and networks. Central to CIS is the need to understand the social and environmental context in which information is used. While researchers have identified many influential dimensions, there lacks rigorous analysis of all the dimensions salient to a CIS case study as well as a model to help CIS implementers design and evolve their CIS in its course. This research addresses these gaps by analysing a CIS we developed for coffee farmers in Jamaica that introduced new weather and climate information in workshops, text messages, and interviews. We identify nine dimensions related to the information providers, users, and their union, and we show how each influenced the design and evolution of our CIS. We further show their dynamic relations in an analytical model. We argue that the context is emergent, requiring flexible CIS, and that assessing the providers is as important as a focus on the users, which is often the emphasis in CIS scholarship. This study is a demonstration of how varied contextual dimensions affect the design, implementation, and use of a CIS, while also providing empirical detail about a coffee farming and climate context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-407
Number of pages13
JournalClimate and Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 27 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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