There is increasing recognition of the importance of co-producing climate services to bridge the current “usability” gap in climate information for decision-making – yet understanding precisely how this should take place is less well elaborated. One key stage of the co-production process involves identifying specifically which climate metrics can usefully inform decisions – but methods that can be drawn upon to construct this information are often overlooked. We discuss how the choice and application of four existing social science methods (interview-informed role play workshop, open-ended interviews, prioritised surveys and enhanced surveys) arose out of, and was in turn embedded within, a different epistemological approach characteristic of co-production to identify decision-relevant climate metrics for the water and agriculture sectors in Malawi and Tanzania. In so doing, we reflect on the evolution of our understanding of co-production as our assumptions were challenged, from the expectation that we would be able to “obtain” metrics from users, to a dynamic mutual definition based on better understanding of the decision-making contexts. Such reflections inform emerging experiences of co-production of climate services, as well as having implications for broader contexts beyond the climate change space in which co-production is attempted to improve science-society interactions.

Vincent, Katharine, Archer, Emma, Henriksson, Rebecka, Pardoe, Joanna and Mittal, Neha (2020) Reflections on a key component of co-producing climate services: defining climate metrics from user needs. Climate Services, 20. ISSN 2405-8807

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