User-driven hydro-meteorological information services for adaptive decision-making in peri-urban delta farming, Ghana (Rebecca Sarku)

Access to water for peri-urban farming in the urbanizing deltas of the Greater Accra Region in Ghana is vital. In this region, the interrelated developments of rapid urbanization and climate change are increasingly affecting water availability. To cope with these uncertain changes, farmers are challenged towards more adaptive decision-making. This requires an enabling information and governance system.

However, existing hydro-meteorological information services are often inadequate to support water-related decisions of farmers about crop varieties, land preparation, irrigation or fertilizer applications. In general, the design choices of hydro-meteorological information services are strongly science-driven and thus not easily comprehended by farmers.

This study aims to increase our understanding of how hydro-meteorological information can be made more actionable to farmers and other actors. It addresses the question: How do actors make design choices about hydro-meteorological information services that can result in actionable knowledge for adaptive decision-making in peri-urban farming? Theories of adaptive governance, environmental virtual observatories (EVOs), actionable knowledge, and adaptive decision-making provide the analytical background.

This study is part of the broader transdisciplinary Waterapps program that aims to develop tailored water information services with and for farmers in the peri-urban areas of Ghana and Bangladesh. This provides the opportunity for action research in a ‘real-life’ design process.