What Do Users Expect from Climate Adaptation Services? Developing an Information Platform Based on User Surveys

  • Esther HoffmannEmail author
  • Johannes Rupp
  • Kirsten Sander
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


We present the preparatory research for the German Climate Preparedness Portal (KLiVO——a meta-portal of climate adaptation and climate information services initiated by the German Government. Our work focuses on user needs and expectations and we followed the four-step user integration process suggested by Swart et al. (2017), but added a fifth step, which involves continuing the exchange with users after implementation of the KLiVO Portal through developing a user-provider network. To analyze user needs we conducted two online surveys with a total of 972 participants and 55 qualitative interviews. The overarching research questions for our analysis were: What kind of adaptation services do users need? What are current deficits in addressing user needs? How can authoritative climate adaptation services be selected and presented on the KLiVO Portal? Even though 82% of the respondents deal with climate adaptation in their work, only a third were aware of the adaptation services presented and only one in ten had actually used them. Respondents reported that the services are difficult to find, not sufficiently specific, and of indeterminate quality. Demand, however, is high: half of the respondents reported a need for such adaptation services for assessing risks and for planning, assessing, and implementing adaptation measures. We used the results of our research to develop the KLiVO Portal and draw conclusions for climate adaptation services and meta-platforms in general: The landscape of climate adaptation services needs to be restructured; quality assurance would ensure reliability; communication between users and providers must be improved and must continue when services are on the market. We suggest further research on continuous user integration and an evaluation of climate adaptation services regarding their effectiveness.


Climate adaptation services User needs Platform Web portal Network Usability 



The research presented here was financed by the German Federal Environment Agency (Funding No. 3717 48 1010 and 3714 48 102 0). We are grateful to our colleagues at the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), especially Theresa Zimmermann, Lea Kliem, and Marlen Ihm, and at the Federal Environment Agency, especially Sebastian Ebert and Dr. Achim Daschkeit. Moreover, we would like to thank our research partners, ecolo, namely Manfred Born, Claudia Körner and Lars Galwoschus, and Dr. Torsten Grothmann from Dr. Grothmann—research and consulting. We are also grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback and their suggestions how to improve the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esther Hoffmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Johannes Rupp
    • 1
  • Kirsten Sander
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Ecological Economy ResearchBerlinGermany
  2. 2.German Environment AgencyDessau-RoßlauGermany

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