Climate Knowledge Brokers Group Workshop Report 2015

Submitted by Anneli Sundin 24th August 2015 15:35
CKB group

Introduction

The Climate Knowledge Brokers (CKB) Group is an emerging alliance of leading global, regional and national knowledge brokers specialising in climate and development information. It brings together a diverse set of information players, from international organisations to research institutes, NGOs and good practice networks, and covers the full breadth of climate related themes. The focus is on primarily online initiatives, and those that play an explicit knowledge brokerage role, rather than being simply institutional websites.

Since 2014, the CKB is coordinated by the CKB Coordination Hub, which is run by REEEP with support from CDKN.

Workshop objectives

The 2015 workshop had one clear objective: to road-test the new CKB Manifesto, which will be used to explain to various audiences – donors, users of climate information and knowledge brokers who are not yet part of CKB – why the climate knowledge brokering role is so important and what CKB is.

The Coordination Hub organised several sessions for participants to break down various aspects of the Manifesto, covering: what users need; how we can play the knowledge broker role better; and the draft principles underpinning the Manifesto. Through group discussions and plenaries, the participants provided constructive feedback on these core elements, rather than editorial details. The Coordination Hub will use all this feedback to finalise the Manifesto well ahead of COP21 in Paris.

The knowledge broker clinics, a regular feature of CKB workshops since they began, continued in earnest. Due to demand from ‘patients’, 13 clinic ‘consultations’ were held, proving invaluable feedback for different knowledge brokers to take back to their offices.

In total, 58 people took part, making this the largest workshop yet held. And a live- streamed panel discussion beforehand also increased awareness of CKB and its activities.

There is a video record of the workshop available at:

www.climateknowledgebrokers.net/recording-of-the-2015-ckb-outreach-event/ 

 

Key outcomes

The most important outcome of the workshop was the wealth of feedback received on the draft Manifesto. This ranged from high-level strategic advice on how the Manifesto could and should be used, to suggestions about using more active language and even the suitability of the name itself. This will now be synthesised and used to refine the Manifesto before it is launched.

Another significant, if less tangible, outcome was the ongoing support felt by CKB members. Many of the new participants commented that they enjoyed the format of the workshop, which is based upon peer support and collaboration rather than promoting their individual websites. The workshop also marked a significant milestone, as CKB reached its fifth year of activity, and a shift to the future as plans began for regional workshops, a more diverse membership and what will happen once the Manifesto has been launched. 

Outreach Event, 22 June 2015

The meeting began with an Outreach Event to raise awareness of CKB and its activities. This started with four ‘elevator pitches’ – a 2-minute summary of who they are and what they do – to provide some examples of what a climate knowledge broker looks like.

Following this, Geoff Barnard from CDKN hosted a panel session to discuss ‘How do we create an effective grid for climate knowledge?’. The panellists – Jukka Uosukainen (CTCN), Helena Molin Valdés (CCAC), Martin Hiller (REEEP), and Ari Huhtala (CDKN) – gave their thoughts on a series of issues about the knowledge broker role, and then fielded questions from the audience. A blog post about the discussion can be found on the CKB website.1

The purpose was to raise the profile of CKB and the role of the climate knowledge broker. As well as the 50-plus people gathered in the auditorium, many from UN agencies, an online audience of 112 had pre-registered to follow the event online. And the discussion also generated a following on Twitter, with several tweets sent during the event.

After the panel discussion, a knowledge fair was held at the UN building. This proved popular, with some attendees remaining for several hours to learn about the different CKB organisations that had displayed posters and provided examples of their work.

As well as creating a chance for networking, holding this session before the main workshop provided a second purpose – ticking the promotional ‘box’ early. At previous workshops, CKB members have highlighted how much they appreciate the focus on collegiate and interactive sessions, rather than presentations about individual platforms. Keeping the promotional side of the event to one session at the start frees people up during the rest of the workshop to focus on collaborating and supporting each other, rather than feeling they have to keep promoting their own organisation or platform. 

Further resources