Climate adaptation services and the factors influencing their usability. A comparative case study to understand the usability gap

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This dissertation investigates and describes the concept of climate adaptation services and the potential usability gap between these services and the end-users. The study examines the factors that could influence the usability of climate services. A case strategy is applied to analyse these factors in -depth by conducting interviews and surveys with relevant stakeholders and practitioners/ researchers from each case study site. Five different case study sites in Europe (Larvik, Norway; Arvika, Sweden; Flensburg, Germany; North Brabant, The Netherlands and Drenthe-Fluvius region, The Netherlands) were selected based on the characteristics of location, climate change impacts, governance, spatial planning policies/ laws and the fact that there exist climate adaptation services in these regions. A comparative case study was done to understand the usability gap in these regions, based on the existing climate services and the factors that influence the usability of climate services. The factors were explored after conducting a theoretical research. Thus, six important factors (target audience, information goal/purpose and framing, type of information (DESTEP model), Spatial/temporal information, communication mode and representation) that influence the usability gap between the climate services and the end-users were derived. However, by conducting this research it was observed that there could be many other factors as well apart from the derived factors, which could influence the usability of the service. This topic was chosen as the relevance of climate services of today is not being used effectively and thus, leading to usability gap. Suitable climate adaptation measures are not being implemented due to lack of relevant information provided in climate services based on the stakeholders needs. This could also be caused due to lack of awareness or lack of active participation/ motivation to implement measures among the decision-makers. This dissertation will guide in improving the existing climate services or developing new services based on the stakeholder’s demands, which will in turn improve the decision-making process and implementation of suitable climate adaptation measures. Thus, reducing the usability gap between climate services and the end-users.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen