SEI announces the launch of online, interactive guidance to help scientists, intermediaries and decision-makers with diverse expertise and experience collaborate to make more effective climate change adaptation plans and policies.

The Tandem guidance on weADAPT aims to help people co-design effective, participatory processes that encourage long-term sustainability. Such processes can help communities respond to the global challenge of climate change, and meet the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

By using a transdisciplinary approach, the Tandem guidance aims to address a gap between science and policy. Despite the growing levels of knowledge and understanding about climate change and its impacts, decision-making and planning at local, regional and national levels often fails to incorporate key scientific insights. To bridge this “usability gap”, scientists must better understand users’ needs, and the institutional, political, social and economic issues that influence decisions. At the same time, users must better understand the value, meaning and applicability of climate science for policy.

With this in mind, the Tandem approach underscores the need to involve a variety of actors and points of view in decision-making processes so that all actors understand needs and trade-offs – and the importance of working together.

A screenshot of the online Tandem guidance on weADAPT shows the seven interactive elements that can guide the co-design of climate adaptation planning processes. (Image credit: weADAPT )


The interactive guidance presents a framework that supports these processes, and adapts to particular situations, even as circumstances change. The process helps convene a wide group of climate scientists, bridging actors, and users of climate information – such as policymakers, government planners, researchers (including climate and social scientists), meteorologists, hydrologists, engineers, impact modellers, extension officers, and representatives of civil society, community based organizations and quasi-public authorities, NGOs and citizen groups. Input from people of such varied backgrounds helps people make decision informed by both science and on-the-ground realities.

The philosophy of the Tandem framework, which underpins the online guidance, is simple: To ride a tandem bicycle requires coordination, collaboration and communication between the riders to reach their destination. In the same way, effective climate adaptation planning requires coordination, collaboration and communication between scientists and decision-makers to achieve their aims.

Researchers with the SEI Initiative on Climate Services designed the framework. Other resources include: a weADAPT overview of the Tandem concept , an SEI discussion brief on an earlier version of the framework, and related case studies.