The authors propose refocusing the climate services lens by moving away from a narrow, supply-driven emphasis on products. Instead, they advocate moving towards a process-centric approach defined by transdisciplinary collaboration that purposefully seeks to bring about fundamental, long-term benefits. Such benefits include increased human and institutional capacity, and the creation of relationships that are essential components of science-informed decision-making for climate adaptation and beyond.

The paper incorporates a review of existing climate services guidance, analyses of a survey of climate services stakeholders, and a climate information co-production process case study in Lusaka, Zambia. The authors identify key elements needed to support complex, real-world decision-making that many existing climate services fail to sufficiently consider.

The authors put forward a framework that can be used to lay the foundation for both science-informed policy and policy-informed science. Called “Tandem”, the framework offers guidance to achieve three goals:

1) to improve the ways in which all participants work together to purposefully design transdisciplinary knowledge integration processes (co-exploration and co-production processes that bring together different knowledge types across the science-society interface);

2) to co-explore decision-relevant needs for the co-production of integrated climate information (i.e., decision-relevant climate and non-climate information); and

3) to increase individual and institutional capacities, collaboration, communication and networks that can translate this information into climate-resilient decision-making and action.

The Tandem framework consists of structured elements, and practical, guiding questions informed by empirical analysis. It has also been translated into user-friendly, interactive online guidance .