To support Climate Change (CC) adaptation and mitigation measures of the Paris Agreement, practitioners co-designing these measures within their community of practice need ready-to-use climate applications. To offer actionable insights to these practitioners, the EIFFEL project partners will develop several CC adaptation and mitigation applications, covering a set of five different domains, contributing to the GEO Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs). Communities of Practice (CoPs) will test these applications in five pilot studies, corresponding to these SBAs, at various EU geographical and climatic regions. These pilot studies are testing applications: (1) on the climate effect of adaptation measures in SBA Water and Land Use Management (Netherlands/Belgium, regional-cross border), (2) on the new CAP crop carbon accountability in SBA Sustainable Agriculture (Lithuania, national-pan European), (3) on climate impact mitigation of atmospheric emissions by port activity in SBA Transport Management (Spain, regional), (4) on urban CC mitigation in SBA Sustainable Urban Development (Greece, local-regional) and (5) on forest disturbances by CC in SBA multi-hazard risk assessment (Finland, regional-national). The pilots are aimed at testing the value of using explainable AI techniques for improving the credibility and comprehensiveness of such CC applications. EIFFEL will foster the co-design of CC adaptation policies and mitigation strategies and monitor CC effects on the respective regions.

Ensuring that practitioners and their stakeholders are actively participating in the application design, this study reports on the early engagement with stakeholders and their participation in the application design. The aim is to co-develop climate change-related user stories for the respective pilots. For each pilot study, a high-level participation structure is created by inviting both the members of the community of practice and the pilot leads (technical partners responsible for application development) for structured focus group workshops. This is done virtually in online workshops, using Microsoft Teams as the online communication platform sheltering an online visual collaboration tool (MURAL©), used to support the facilitation and for data collection. In a preliminary workshop during the project’s kick-off meeting, with all EIFFEL partners involved, the stakeholder heterogeneity was captured to enumerate potential participants at the CoPs.

At the start of each pilot workshop (5 in total; the workshop for pilot 1 consisted of three parts), familiarity with the MURAL tool was cultivated by activating participation through an icebreaker task. During a first round of the workshop, user stories were co-created verbally (user – CC dealt with – goal of user – task of user to achieve goal) and notes were taken by a facilitator. During a second round of the workshop, per user story co-created, participants jointly listed functionalities, including a discussion to categorise the functionalities as necessary or optional. During a third round of the workshop, participants were invited to reflect on the stakeholder categorisation in potential primary (direct user of the application) and secondary (user of the findings from the application use) stakeholders. The data from the focus group workshop on users and user functionalities have been synthesized using Qualitative Research Analysis, in which the codebook is colour-coded in order to compound user stories according the components: User, Climate Change Challenges, Goals, and Core Tasks. The leads of the CoP and pilot were invited to review the compounded user stories.

A total of 15 user stories were co-created by the community of practice in consultation with the leads responsible for the application development. In total all 5 pilots are represented within the 6 focus group workshops held, for which we sent 84 invitations to potential focus group members; realising: 74 participants (a mean of 11 to 12 participants per PILOT).
The focus groups resulted in about 4 different user stories per pilot. Across all pilots, various similarities between users and user stories can be distinguished. First of all, each pilot contains a user story concerning a user working for a government institution or involved in policymaking. Furthermore, most pilots also contain a user with a particular economic interest. The diversity of users and their perspectives are an important consideration in the development of the EIFFEL applications. The applications should facilitate decision making within the specific contexts of the separate users, and should furthermore allow users to gain insights on the perspectives of other users. The latter should also contribute to the collaboration between CoP members in the context of CC adaptation. A third similarity between pilot user stories is the lack of stories focussing on (concerned) citizens. Despite citizens being mentioned in multiple workshops, only one actual user story relating to this user was developed. The importance of citizens as users of the applications should be considered and more knowledge is necessary in order to ensure that applications meet the needs of citizens as users.

The co-created user stories helped participants to jointly define functionalities (the application’s characteristics, as well as services it can provide) and to list those as necessary or optional.

The objective of opening up Earth Observation data from the GEOSS platform is to be of service to their community of practice in need for ready-to-use climate applications. In the development of the CoPs, it is recommended that EIFFEL involves the concerned citizen to a higher degree, as a secondary stakeholder, in order to grasp their perspectives on the CC challenges, and to fit their needs to spatially explicit CC information by convenient applications. Overall, the co-designing resulted in the denomination of 21 groups of primary stakeholders (initially projected: 11 groups) and 20 groups of secondary stakeholders (initially projected: 14 groups). The functionalities could be classified into 4 groups according to the function of the application in handling geo-referenced data; the majority of the listed functionalities has been classified as necessary. Hence, the positioning of the functionalities on each user story as a process will still have to be analysed by the CoP during future tasks, e.g., on the basis of a prototype application. The compounded user stories, the stakeholder group denomination and the stratification of functionalities provide the EO-based community and the EIFFEL partners with insights on the user requirements needed to develop AI-specifications of EIFFEL tools and Climate Change applications using GEOSS data. For each pilot, the functionalities are grouped according to relevant mapping and non-mapping functionalities. These findings will serve as input on more thorough analysis of EO-tool and application development in the next stage of the study. The results presented herein are used for the specification of the EIFFEL tools and Climate Change applications (Task 2.2).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages88
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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