The changing role of NGOs in supporting climate services

Research reports and studies
September 2016
Lindsey Jones, Blane Harvey and Rachel Godfrey-Wood

This report examines the evolving role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the production, communication and uptake of climate information. In particular, we focus on NGOs’ roles as knowledge brokers and intermediaries and how these contribute to the overall effectiveness of the climate services value chain in developing countries.

Key messages

  • Climate services play a key role in supporting the resilience of people and communities but continue to be inaccessible to large numbers of climate-vulnerable people. Through programmes like BRACED, NGOs are increasingly taking on intermediary roles, helping users to acquire, understand, value and consider climate information within their decision-making processes.
  • There is a risk, however, that NGOs will make uncoordinated attempts to move into the climate services sector, while national meteorological and hydrological agencies are also being tasked to be more user-driven.
  • To maximise the potential of NGOs to contribute positively to climate services, we propose five areas of interaction and engagement to help to address these risks. These are: improving knowledge sharing; enhancing coordination on planned activities; enhancing collaboration across systems and scales; focusing on knowledge co-production; and emphasising learning processes. These areas require new actions from not only NGOs, but also national meteorological and hydrological agencies, national and local governments, and international funders.