Today, the Walker Academy launched its latest online course: Learning to Co-Produce (L2CP). The three-month course, for post-graduate meteorological students and others studying related subjects (such as hydro-met and agri-met), aims to strengthen the ability of scientists to engage with decision-makers and people on the ground.
The Walker Academy – the capacity building arm of the Walker Institute – has previously run training courses on a wide range of topics, including social protection and household economy analysis. L2CP is the Academy’s largest course so far, with over 100 students from 11 institutions across East and West Africa, and the UK. The course, funded by the SHEAR programme, has been developed by a team of experts from the UK, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria using knowledge gained during the implementation of numerous, real-world development projects.
“In training meteorologists and climate scientists, learning institutions have not focused on empowering scientists on their interaction with users and stakeholders,” explained Emmah Mwangi, co-creator of the course and acting climate research manager at the International Center for Humanitarian Affairs, Kenya Red Cross Society. "The course will go a long way in improving interaction between climate scientists and stakeholders as well as improving the production of tailored climate services.”
L2CP is made up of ten modules, which cover:
The course brings together theory and practice. Each module contains practical exercises and is brought to life with case studies, films, animations and links to resources for in-depth follow-up. The entire course can be undertaken remotely. Each module takes around an hour, with follow-up assignments undertaken individually or in small groups. Each block of modules is followed by a live session where the L2CP team and course convenors provide feedback on assignments.
“This course comes at the right time, when demand for customised climate services has increased,” explained Ousmane Ndiaye, another of the course co-creators and director of meteorological operations at ANACIM in Senegal. “This requires both parties – provider and user of climate services – to work together in order to come up with the right products.”
Lead co-creator of L2CP, Emma Visman, explained the issues often faced when trying to provide climate services: “Uptake and use of forecasts remains limited due to a wide range of issues…decision-makers find the forecasts to be too technical, provided through inappropriate channels or at inappropriate times, or lacking relevance to their specific information requirements. Drawing on experiences from a wide range of projects and initiatives across East and West Africa, L2CP seeks to share emerging learning about approaches that have shown to be effective in co-developing, with specific user groups.”
The Learning to Co-Produce course is live on the Walker Academy’s website now.