Why knowledge ‘translation’ is needed

We organise online and offline dialogues based on existing knowledge in order to harmonise climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR). During these dialogues, knowledge is co-produced and new understanding may emerge which is taken up by the PLACARD evolving issues brief on an annual basis. The outcomes are relevant for the broader CCA and DRR communities. To ensure that the outcomes of the PLACARD dialogues reach the appropriate audience, we use a translational approach.

  • Making sense of the outcomes by putting it in the specific context that is of relevance for the targeted CCA and DRR people
  • Using words that are frequently used by and familiar to the targeted CCA and DRR people.

What is translated to who?

Language & technolgogy

Finding relevant knowledge is encouraged by using language more effectively, and using technology to connect data more efficiently. This has the potential to transform how CCA and DRR communities communicate and share knowledge. Semantic tagging plays an important role in enabling discovery of applicable knowledge. We need new standards for information and knowledge management to ease the use of technology to support the search for such knowledge. PLACARD is building a Connectivity Hub, an innovative tool to improve communication and knowledge sharing.

Who is it translated for?

  • CCA and DRR knowledge platforms such as Climate Adapt, Preventionweb
  • Users of these knowledge platforms

Wildfires & water resources

Wildfires are known to negatively affect water resources, but there are still significant knowledge gaps. Post-fire contamination is a multidisciplinary problem and therefore requires a multidisciplinary approach to deal with it.

Who is it translated for?

  • Forest, catchment and water resource managers; researchers working on fire and water resources; and funders and managers of research programs in water resources and disaster prevention and mitigation


Foresight is an effective method of understanding the implications of Junker’s five scenarios on climate and disaster policy. These scenarios have upsides and downsides for both policy areas. Discussing the opportunities and challenges, and exploring how CCA and DRR may look within these scenarios enables a dialogue on the actions needed today to navigate to a more positive future.

Who is it translated for?

  • EU policymakers DG Climate, DG ECHO and others, national actors in CCA and DRR

Climate risk management

The concept of ‘climate risk management’ is a novel way to deal with disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation at the same time, providing a method of circumventing political hurdles and strengthening global ambitions to tackle climate-related risks. Putting climate risk management into practice requires balancing the perceptions of climate-related risks of all involved. The role of climate-relevant science is to provide evidence on short-term risk to foster action, as well as to reflect on existing protection and preventive mechanisms and instruments. In addition, transformational thinking that includes re-framing of the overall problem over time, is useful to foster climate risk management in the long-term too.

Who is it translated for?

  • Climate adaptation officers, disaster risk reduction officers, politicians, private sector, research and civil society

Climate services

Climate services are a way to transform climate-related data into customised products to support the climate-proofing of society. The disaster risk reduction community may also benefit from climate services, in particular in disaster risk prevention and recovery planning. These DRR-oriented climate services are currently in development.

Who is it translated for?

  • Climate services providers, disaster risk reduction community – such as officers, practitioners and politicians, climate scientists, adaptation researchers.

Civil protection

Civil protection is not only about policy. It focuses on how to support local communities in dealing with disasters. Climate change is acknowledged as a major challenge that local communities must tackle.

Who is it translated for?

  • Civil protection community: policymakers, practitioners, civil society


Forests play an essential role in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Integrated and multi-layer safety approaches to flood risk management and forests can be helpful in dealing with existing and future risks. Complexity and uncertainty are two important factors, while developing understandable narratives helps to inform current and future actions.

Who is it translated for?

  • Forest managers, nature conservationists, disaster practitioners and policymakers, climate officers

Nature-based solutions

Nature-based solutions (NBS) have proved to be cost-effective measures for adapting cities to climate change, and for reducing the risk of current and future extreme weather events while bringing multiple co-benefits. However, implementing NBS is complex, due to the inherent uncertainties in climate projections, and the changing dynamics of a city.

We must find ways to use the same infrastructure for different purposes, for example, building roads for everyday transportation which act as temporary water channels and basins during a storm. We must also encourage teams and departments to work together, despite their differing perspectives and language.

When investing in NBS, cost benefit analyses play an important role in supporting decision-makers.

Collaboration and consultation with stakeholders are crucial to support the successful implementation of NBS.

Who is it translated for?

  • People that are involved in implementing NBS

Monitoring & evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of adaptation policies and measures is challenging. Currently, M&E at a city-level is rather scarce and dependent on the specific characteristics and objectives of the individual city. A particular issue is the availability and ownership of suitable data for M&E of adaptation programmes. The lack of a central data provider constrains easy and prompt access to it. To break existing silos and change this mentality, it is important to explain what an adaptation or resilience strategy is about. This can be achieved through telling a story that is engaging and meaningful to many different parties, and to build networks and collaborations amongst all interested stakeholders.

Other issues include limited resources, capacity and know-how of municipality staff, the lack of political support, and the issues of uncertainty.

Who is it translated for?

  • People involved in M&E regarding CCA and DRR projects, programmes and policies – at city and at national / EU level

Knowledge sharing platforms

Knowledge sharing platforms use defined principles to ensure good practice. For example, WeADAPT principles are:

  • Enhance attribution and content ownership across the site to ensure authors and organisations are appropriately accredited;
  • Scale up our social media outreach to bring content to more potential users, and to provide visibility for contributors;
  • Support peer-to-peer learning and dialogue by enabling commenting, and by building discussion forums;
  • Further enhance our search functionality, including through facilitating multi-faceted searches and the eventual use of semantic tagging, which will enable the suggestion of additional relevant (not just related) content; and
  • Update and improve background articles to provide a foundation for those new to climate change adaptation issues.

Who is it translated for?

  • Other knowledge sharing platforms, funders of knowledge sharing platforms, users of knowledge sharing platforms


Risk assessments are essential, and megatrends must be taken into account when planning for adaptation. Foresight methods are particularly useful in this context.

Who is it translated for?

  • Insurance companies, investors

Social justice

Information, tools, studies and knowledge are available but only partially applied in decision-making and practice due to power and control at different governance levels.

The scale impacts of disasters occur in direct correlation to social inequalities. Social justice must become an inherent part of CCA and DRR approaches.

When dealing with CCA and DRR, individuals play an important role and aspects such as motivation and individual capacity should be taken into account.

Who is it translated for?

  • Policymakers, policy advisors, academics

Paris Agreement and SFDRR

There is much to be gained when the synergies between the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction are acknowledged and acted on in implementing these international agreements.

Who is it translated for?

  • International organisations and national governments that are part of Sendai and Paris discussions

SFDRR and the Paris Agreement

There is much to be gained when the synergies between the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement are acknowledged and acted on in implementing these international agreements.

Who is it translated for?

  • International organisations and national governments that are part of Sendai and Paris discussions.

Foresight methods

Foresight methods are useful to improve future-thinking in joint CCA and DRR policy contexts.

Who is it translated for?

  • EU, national and sub-national policymakers working in CCA and/or DRR

Urban development

Local authorities should be encouraged to join the EU Urban Agenda and its new Action Plan to contribute to EU policies on urban development, in order to prepare for the future climate.

Who is it translated for?

  • Local authorities – city planners, academics

Water management

Water is a useful mechanism to find common ground between CCA and DRR communities – greater coherence between the communities is needed to deal with future risks effectively. Resilient water resources, management practices and tools can improve outcomes both for climate mitigation and adaptation activities, as well as for disaster reduction and recovery efforts.

Who is it translated for?

  • Water managers, policymakers in CCA and DRR.

Translated materials

Policy briefs



Flyers were disseminated during the European Risk Forum, December 2018 and during the 4th European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA) in May 2019.

Exposure in other networks

PLACARD translation materials have been shared within a number of other CCA and DRR networks.

Leitner, M. and Swart, R. March 27, 2019 – Weather worries: the future of Europe depends on how it manages the risks of climate extremes

Nunes, J.P., Keesstra, S., Doerr, S. and Pulquério, M. March 8, 2018 – Impacts of fires on water quality

PLACARD Connectivity Hub

Pulquério, M., Street, R., Swart R., Mysiak J. and Karali, E. January 14, 2018 – Development of climate services for disaster risk reduction

Furthermore, our workshops and training are promoted via other networks:

And finally, other networks write about PLACARD activities and results.


This note summarises the translation materials produced between the end of 2017 to April 2019.