What can climate services learn from theory and practice of co-production?

Co-produced climate services are increasingly recognised as a means of improving the effective generation and utilisation of climate information to inform decision-making and support adaptation to climate change, particularly in developing countries. There is a rich literature outlining the theoretical and conceptual evolution of co-production, and experiences of it in a variety of decision contexts – in different sectors and at different scales. However, the extent to which the producers of climate services have engaged with this literature varies. Reflecting the emerging interest and application, particularly in developing countries, this paper reviews the co-production literature to distil some key principles to inform climate services. Whilst we aim to be neither comprehensive nor prescriptive, these principles can inform a normative and pragmatic approach to co-produced climate services. A co-produced climate service product should be decision-driven, process-based and time-managed. The process of co-producing a climate service should be inclusive, collaborative and flexible. Illustrations are also provided of how these principles may be engaged in practice. Evaluation of these emerging examples will help further inform co-production of climate services.