Successful climate services for adaptation: What we know, don't know and need to know

Eva Boon*, Sarah Judith Wright, Robbert Biesbroek, Hasse Goosen, Fulco Ludwig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The success of climate services for adaptation to climate change is increasingly studied, but there exists a varying understanding of what climate services are and what makes them successful. This study systematically mapped the breadth and depth of peer-reviewed literature on the subject and synthesized evidence on what we know, don't know and need to know about successful climate services. The study focusses on services that are based on long-term climate information or aim to inform decision-making on longer time scales and includes papers that inform on success, including evaluation studies, empirical investigations in the factors and practices that influence success, and conceptual discussions on what constitutes success. Results show that insights on climate service success are scattered and most often originate from western and developed countries. Conceptualizations of success in the literature are diverse and focus on processes for production and use, product characteristics and process elements of the service itself, and/or on contextual factors. Studies that assess the results of climate services tend to focus on evaluating (perceived) usability, though uptake, impacts and outcomes of services are rarely assessed systematically. Frequently reported success factors include brokering functions, user-producer interactions and iterative and flexible development processes. To be successful, services themselves should be contextualized and tailored to the user and its decision-making context. We conclude that whilst context emerges as a critical determinant of success, the configuration of factors and processes leading to success demand further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100314
JournalClimate Services
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Adaptation
  • Climate service
  • Evaluation
  • Evidence synthesis
  • Success


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