Understanding climate knowledge: Participants engage in the 2014 Climate Knowledge Brokers Workshop

7 October 2014

The 2014 Climate Knowledge Brokers workshop was hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) over the weekend of 4-5 October. The event was organised by the Climate Knowledge Brokers (CKB) Group, an alliance of over 50 organisations and web platforms specialising in climate and development knowledge.

Participants of Climate Knowledge Brokers Workshop 2014

Members from IDS’, including those involved with the Eldis Service, were joined at the event by representatives from a diverse range of organisations including the European Space Agency, the World Bank, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Gobeshona (Bangla for ‘research’), which is a platform for climate change research on Bangladesh. The workshop was the first event organised by the newly established CKB Coordination Hub.

Focusing on closer collaboration between those working in climate and development

The aim of 2014 CKB Group Workshop was to continue the process of forging links between climate knowledge brokers working in the climate and development area. In turn, it is hoped that working collaboratively will improve access to reliable information and methods for those working in these sectors, particularly in developing countries, and to enhance their ability to share lessons and experience.

The CKB Group is looking to build, strengthen and increase collaboration for the future. “We are kind of turning a corner in the development of this community from an informal network to a more concerted and strategic group” said Geoff Barnard, Knowledge Management Advisor at the Climate & Development Knowledge Network and chair of the CKB Steering Group. 

Building the knowledge agenda of CKB

One of the issues that CKB aims to tackle is what it calls ‘portal proliferation’ – the idea that there are so many sources of climate information out there that it is hard to find what is most relevant for the person looking for it. The group has already collaborated on developing common tools and projects to address this, including the Knowledge Navigator run by IDS. 

“I think we’ve found that there is a real appetite within the group to think big but it’s matched by some really useful realism about what it takes,” explained Barnard. “Then three or four steps up the ladder we are talking about how can we get this knowledge agenda into bigger debates on where global climate funds should be spent to make sure that the knowledge element is built in from the beginning as a critical component. One issue the CKB hopes to look at through its work is legacy. As new platforms are set up and funding for others ends, there is a risk of them becoming part of “an electronic land fill” as pointed out by Timo Baur of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) during the workshop. 

The importance of relationships for the future

The workshop had a lot of energy with a heavy focus on networking and sharing learning.

“It was valuable to listen to others and share examples and experiences,” reflected Fatema Rajabali, Climate Change Convener at IDS and CKB steering group member. “The event also gave me an opportunity to reflect on the role I play as a knowledge broker; it gave me a real sense of the diversity of skills we bring and experiences we have.”

“The main thing I have learnt from this workshop is the importance of relationships, of working together,” said Michele Lopez, Meta Data Librarian and Document Assistant at CCCCC. “The relationships that we’ve made over this weekend will help us to further develop.”. 

Find out more about the group and how to join at the Climate Knowledge Brokers Group website.

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