Despite improvements in the science of climate forecasting, the application of forecasts faces key challenges. Prominent among such challenges is the fact that certain subgroupings of end users of climate information remain excluded from its potential benefits, or underserved. This paper suggests that such an omission may occur in part due to a lack of sophistication in the way the end user is viewed in the field of forecast applications research. End-user studies working both at generic and finer scales are cited, identifying reasons why certain user groups may be excluded from potential benefits of the forecast system. A case study in the Limpopo Province, South Africa, shows more specifically how one characteristic, namely gender, may determine such exclusion. The paper concludes by considering recommendations to improve inclusivity of climate information systems.

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Footnotes

Climate Systems Analysis Group, Dept. of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa