Closing the gap between climate information producers and users: Assessment of needs and uptake in Senegal
This paper in the Climate Journal examines the approach used to involve stakeholders in the climate information services (CIS) uptake process in Senegal, whereby the experiences and lessons learned are analyzed. West Africa is a very vulnerable part of the world to the impacts of climate change due to a combination of exposure and low adaptive capacity. To adapt to the increased aritidy in Senegal, farmers have used indigenous and modern coping strategies, and lately CIS. Results clearly indicate that, for any new technology to be successfully introduced in rural communities, a bottom-up approach combined with policy-maker involvement at local, regional and national levels is required. The use of participatory methods and the inclusion of indigenous knowledge has built a mutual trust between CIS users and providers and enable the widespread adoption of the technology. This has also enabled the strong engagement of the local, regional and national authorities, thus creating a political enabling environment for the sustainability of the use of CIS. Challenges remain, for example the lack of permanent funding sources and the timely delivery of CIS. Recommendations that will improve and sustain the governance system of CIS in Senegal and the rest of West Africa include the involvement of private sectors in the chain of production, delivery and training, and the inciting of producers to largely subscribe to the weather-based index insurance.