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The Dutch adaptation web portal: seven lessons learnt from a co-production point of view

Laudien, Rahel, Boon, Eva, Goosen, Hasse, van Nieuwaal, Kim
Climatic change 2019 v.153 no.4 pp. 509-521
Internet, animal adaptation, climate, climate change, planning, politics, scientists, spatial data, uncertainty, Netherlands
Since its release in 2014, the Knowledge Portal for Spatial Adaptation has evolved into the central web portal for climate adaptation in the Netherlands, supporting regional and local adaptation efforts. This paper reflects on how co-production shaped the development of the portal and evaluates its use and the usability of the most frequently accessed tool, the ‘Climate Adaptation Atlas’. Analysis of evaluation reports and web-statistics revealed a substantial, diverse and regularly returning group of visitors to the portal. For example, municipalities use the atlas to understand how their municipality can be impacted by climate change to support spatial planning. Using the usability criteria of fit, interplay and interaction, the analysis showed that the atlas fits the needs of creating awareness and integrating climate information with other spatial information. However, the interplay of new climate information with other currently used information varies amongst municipalities. Interactions between scientists and users were found at different stages involving different actors. Based on the development and use of the portal, seven lessons have been derived emphasising the importance of a continuous co-production process with users; a modular setup to acknowledge the diversity in approaches; encouraging users by providing showcases of adaptation initiatives and enabling exchange of information amongst users; the need for political support; the ability and will to act even in case of uncertainty; flexibility in project design to incorporate changes in user needs and the beneficial role of boundary organisations in improving mutual understanding. Through this paper, contributions to the understanding of how adaptation web portals can be developed and improved are made.