Actionable knowledge and assessment related literature

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  • Editorial overview: the science of actionable knowledge (2020)
    In this issue, ten teams of scholars working on the science of actionable knowledge provide reviews of research across diverse topics and questions in this space. Taken together, these articles highlight the breadth and depth of work that this line of inquiry can produce, even as they underscore the knowledge gaps.

  • Actionable knowledge and the art of engagement (2020)
    Scholars and practitioners have increasingly advocated that the traditional linear model of knowledge production, with its unidirectional flow of information from researchers to policymakers,be replaced by a new approach inwhich researchers and knowledge-users meaningfully interact to co-create knowledge that is actionable in decision-making. This popular model — coproduction — has advanced thinking on how to create usable knowledge.

  • Great expectations? Reconciling the aspiration, outcome, and possibility of co-production (2020)
    This paper reviews recent examples of co-produced research alongside current theorization on the topic. Focusing on the area of climate change adaptation, we find that co-produced climate change adaptation research appears to be improving knowledge use, among other positive outcomes, but a difference emerges between the range of outcomes reported in practice and the scope of ambition conceived through theory.

  • Insights for developing effective decision support tools for environmental sustainability (2020)
    Here we identify key characteristics of successful DSTs that enhance decision quality through a review of the literature, and then consider some ways that the ecosystem of decision support activities—coastal plan process and planning tool—used to develop Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan embody these characteristics.

  • Three roles for education in climate change adaptation (2020)
    Education, appropriately conceived, can be a powerful tool in enabling effective adaptation to climate change. In this article, we identify three distinct but overlapping policy uses. First, protecting and deploying education infrastructure, the social and material resources on which education depends, can reduce vulnerability and build resilience. Second, improving general education, measured in terms of literacy, school attendance, and overall academic attainment, can enhance adaptive capacity. Third, research-based adaptation learning support can accelerate social and policy change by maximizing learning before and during adaptive decision-making.

  • To co-produce or not to co-produce (2018)
    In this Comment, we discuss knowledge co-production as a focus of research and as a rapidly spreading practice among scientists, stakeholders and funders seeking to increase the role of science in solving society’s most pressing problems.

  • Toward the next generation of assessment (2017)
    In this review, we take stock of recent advances and challenges, rooting our analysis in climate change assessment. In particular, we consider four priorities in assessment: (a) integrating diverse evidence including quantitative and qualitative results and understanding, (b) applying rigorous expert judgment to evidence and its uncertainties, (c) exploring widely ranging futures and their connections to ongoing choices and actions, and (d) incorporating interactions among experts and decision makers in assessment processes.

  • Unleashing expert judgment in assessment (2017)
    Here we evaluate advances and challenges in approaches to expert judgment in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5).

  • IPCC reasons for concern regarding climate change risks (2017)
    The reasons for concern framework, now a cornerstone of the IPCC assessments, aggregates global risks into five categories as a function of global mean temperature change. We review the framework's conceptual basis and the risk judgments made in the most recent IPCC report, confirming those judgments in most cases in the light of more recent literature and identifying their limitations.

  • A multistage crucible of revision and approval shapes IPCC policymaker summaries (2016)
    We provide an in-depth evaluation of IPCC summary for policymakers (SPM) revisions, establishing an evidential basis for understanding their nature.

  • Make climate-change assessments more relevant (2016)
    The challenge for those who assess such scientific knowledge, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is to summarize results in ways that are true to the original research, explicit about the values and judgements in the analysis, and digestible by and useful to policymakers and the public.

  • Mapping the climate change challenge (2016)
    One way to communicate the costs and benefits of climate change policies is through a mapping that systematically explores the consequences of different choices. This Perspective summarizes this approach, reviews its strengths and limitations, and discusses how decision-makers can use its results in practice. It also identifies research needs that can facilitate integrated analysis of climate change and help better inform policy-makers and the public.

  • Understanding and responding to danger from climate change: the role of key risks in the IPCC AR5 (2016)
    In this article, we introduce the innovations and implications of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) approach for identifying key risks in a changing climate to inform judgments about danger from climate change and to empower responses, which extends analysis across sectors and regions, and consider relevance for future research and assessment.
     
  • Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014)
    Section A of this summary characterizes observed impacts, vulnerability and exposure, and adaptive responses to date. Section B examines future risks and potential benefits. Section C considers  principles for effective adaptation and the broader interactions among adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development.

  • Technical Summary. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014)
    Section A of this summary characterizes observed impacts, vulnerability and exposure, and adaptive responses to date. Section B examines future risks and potential benefits across sectors and regions, highlighting where choices matter for reducing risks through mitigation and adaptation. Section C considers principles for effective adaptation and the broader interactions among adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development.

  • Treatment of uncertainties in IPCC Assessment Reports: past approaches and considerations for the Fifth Assessment Report (2011)
    Here we consider the motivations for the most recent revision of the uncertainties guidance provided to author teams of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Our primary focus is the interpretation and application of the guidance provided to author teams in the Fourth Assessment Report, with analysis of the successes and challenges in the application of this guidance and approaches taken in usage of its calibrated uncertainty language.

  • The IPCC AR5 guidance note on consistent treatment of uncertainties: a common approach across the working groups (2011)
    A goal for the Fifth Assessment Report, which is currently under development, is the application of a common framework with associated calibrated uncertainty language that can be used to characterize findings of the assessment process. A guidance note for authors of the Fifth Assessment Report has been developed that describes this common approach and language, building upon the guidance employed in past Assessment Reports. Here, we introduce the main features of this guidance note, with a focus on how it has been designed for use by author teams.

  • Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties (2010)
    These guidance notes are intended to assist Lead Authors of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)
    in the consistent treatment of uncertainties across all three Working Groups. These notes define
    a common approach and calibrated language that can be used broadly for developing expert
    judgments and for evaluating and communicating the degree of certainty in findings of the
    assessment process.