Role of Demonstration Studies in Institutionalization

Generally, demonstration studies in climate forecast application are targeting vulnerable areas, which tend to ensure receptivity, participation and commitment of local institutions and community in climate risk management. As beneficial use of climate forecasts depends on high level of human vulnerability, climate predictability and decision capacity (Hansen 2002), demonstration studies automatically target areas satisfying the above criteria. A demonstration study also tries to generate localized climate information, understanding the decision profiles and needs of the farmers. A demonstration study implemented by Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) in collaboration with International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) has followed a well organized sequential process that include: (i) understanding climate variability and impact at local level (ii) farmers need perception, (iii) enabling elements in decision-making environment favoring climate forecast uptake, (iv) assessing institutions generating reliable and usable forecast products, (v) ensuring partnership development, (vi) processing and delivery of localized information, (vii) demonstration of potential value, (viii) policy advocacy and (ix) replication. A demonstration project on climate forecast application in Indramayu district of central Java had motivated the farmers to actively participate in climate field schools and use the climate forecasts to decide about planting method during wet season (Boer 2004).

The lessons learned from the demonstration project have motivated the national partners to expand the project into a national program. In this case, the organized institutional set up is already in place and the demonstration project has just facilitated the institutional linkages at various levels. Institutionalization at national level requires formal arrangement of relevant institutions and their linkages to provide forecast information and a range of other forms of support and policies that foster the provision and use of climate forecasts. It has been recognized that the institutional arrangements play a key role in determining the outcome of climate-related risks (Kirshen and Flitcroft 2000).

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