The essence of the Tandem framework, like the tandem bicycle, is working together. Photo: 123ducu / Getty Images.

Decision-makers under-utilize climate information. This situation calls for a fundamental shift: away from provider-led services for decision-makers, and towards a collaborative approach working in tandem with decision-makers.

The Tandem framework offers an approach for the co-design of climate services. It engages intended users of services as full design parters collaborating with providers and intermediaries. The framework proposes steps that the parties can collectively use to inform, guide and structure their transdisciplinary interaction.

Tandem embeds the co-design of climate services within the institutional and decision contexts in which they will operate to enhance their usability, relevance and sustainability – all critical for climate-resilient planning underpinned by science, now and into the future.

The discussion brief provides: an overview of climate services, key definitions of relevant terms, an overview of barriers to the use of climate information, an explanation of the seven steps in the Tandem framework, and an example of how the process has worked in Lusaka, Zambia, to address adaptation planning on the city’s water issues.