Climate services are becoming a complex product, and with it also the knowledge and skills necessary to design them. The User Learning Services (ULS) project aims to provide knowledge and skills needed to use climate data to enable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies by providing blended trainings. However, improving data does not automatically lead to adaptation. Researchers observe a ‘usability gap’ caused by science-driven climate services, as opposed to demand-driven and decision tailored climate services. Producing climate services as a condition for actionable knowledge creation requires a shift towards a two-way collaborative process known as co-production. Although climate service design practices are shifting to close the mentioned usability gap, research on capacity building in climate services is still limited. In this research, we propose to explore the design principles that promote the shift in the climate services paradigm. We will use the ULS blended training to explore, define and evaluate those design principles. The overall research question is ‘What design principles for capacity building encourage knowledge creation and skills development on actionable and decision tailored climate services? The methodological design for this research follows a systematic educational design research. The first phase is the problem analysis (RQ1), followed by identifying characteristics, knowledge and skills for climate services for tentative design principles (RQ2) and concluding with the cycled implementation and evaluation of the design principles (RQ3) and assessing transdisciplinarity in knowledge creation (RQ4).
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.