The ISIpedia project is an effort to bring together multiple expertises in the interdisciplinary field of climate impact science: those from the primarily biophysical sciences impact modelling community, researchers in the socioeconomic sphere, and stakeholders with policy and communication expertise. The foundation from which ISIpedia builds is the scientific work done under Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP), a community of impact modellers studying the global and regional impacts of climate change on natural and human systems. Essential to making the scientific outputs of ISIMIP relevant and employable is feedback and collaboration with stakeholders (from national administrations, international organizations, NGOs and other research fields). The end-product will be a user-friendly, open-access “online encyclopedia” for climate impacts. This newly created platform will provide policy-relevant, user-driven climate-impact assessments, at the national and global scale,based on the state-of-the-art impact science from the ISIMIP project.


Project period
September 2017 – September 2020

Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Future website

Next workshop 24 June 2021
Find the programme here
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What can ISIpedia offer?

The core ISIpedia offer will be national-level climate-impacts assessments based on the ISIMIP simulation data archive. The content of the national assessments will comprise both descriptive (qualitative) and quantitative information.

The types of information we’d like to include in the assessments are:
  • What are the climate risks in this country under different climate scenarios (both from a single-sector and cross-sectoral perspective)?
  • How well do impacts models in this country simulate past climate impacts? I.e. how reliable are the models.
  • What are the challenges for modelling climate impacts in this country? (technical modelling issues, but also local conditions that make ISIMIP simulations potentially inaccurate e.g. war, massive dependence on global network factors)
The content of the assessments will be driven by several factors:
  • The indicators considered most important/relevant by the stakeholders consulted.
  • The framing (presentation approach) considered to be most helpful by the stakeholders consulted (also taking into consideration the generic obligations of many countries, e.g. SDG and NAP reporting).
  • The quantitative indicators of climate indicators that can be calculated using ISIMIP simulations.
  • The types of indicators that are considered useful for the stakeholders we consult.

About the Project

Although scientists have acquired a breadth of knowledge on climate change impacts, past and future, on human and natural systems, this knowledge is often not conveyed in a manner suitable or relevant for decision-making. The ISIpedia project addresses this challenge by enabling collaboration between modellers and various stakeholders in the design of a reliable and comprehensive information and data service on current and future climate impacts.

How ISIpedia works ISIpedia, the open, inter- and multisectoral impacts encyclopedia, aims to become a key reference for accessing consistent, policy-relevant, and user-driven climate-impact information. The web-based portal will be developed in tandem with a diversity of potential end-users, ensuring accessibility across many experience levels and a user-friendly interface. The project is composed of three teams:
  • Stakeholder Engagement Team, led by Climate Analytics
  • ISIMIP Modelling Team, coordinated from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK)
  • ISIpedia Web-platform Assessment and Editorial Team, overseen by IIASA


The Stakeholder Engagement Team, housed at Climate Analytics, facilitates collaborative and reciprocal processes with modeller and non-modeller stakeholders. This includes interactive workshops focusing on research co-design and mutual learning, an online survey for gathering end-user inputs, and two-way knowledge brokering. More information on stakeholder engagement activities can be found below.


Stakeholder Engagement Activities- past and future

1. ISIpedia Kick-off Workshop
Potsdam, Germany. October 2017


The overarching aim of the ISIpedia Kick-off Workshop was to scope stakeholders’ needs and preferences in terms of a climate service on cross-sectoral impacts. It was held in parallel to the ISIMIP Strategy Meeting, allowing for a first exchange between stakeholders from policy, NGOs, and research institutions and ISIMIP impact modellers. Outcomes of the workshop were used to inform the ISIpedia Stakeholder Survey, the stakeholder engagement process for the rest of the project, and fed into discussions on the selection of a focus topic for the 3rd ISIMIP simulation round.


2. Eastern Europe Indicator Development Workshop
Krakow, Poland. November 2018


The first of two, the ISIpedia Indicator Development Workshop in Krakow brought together 15 stakeholders from all over Europe and 4 ISIMIP modellers from the energy, water, and biodiversity sectors, with the overarching aim of developing cross-sectoral indicators within the possibilities of ISIMIP data. While only a few indicators were polished off over the three days, there were productive discussions on i) reconciling needs and even vocabularies of many professional communities, ii) the opportunities and limitations of impact models (and coordinated ensemble runs), and iii) how ISIMIP variables can contribute to existing indicator frameworks (such as the SDGs).


3. West Africa Indicator Development Workshop
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. February 2019


The second regional indicator development workshop brought together 41 African stakeholders, mostly from West Africa, and 4 ISIMIP modellers, from agriculture, water, energy and biodiversity sectors. As the ISIpedia Stakeholder Engagement Team had learned from the previous workshop, the aim was slightly adjusted: rather than aiming to explicitly develop indicators, the focus was more on exploring the ISIMIP data and facilitating exchange between the modellers and stakeholders, for a better understanding of what ISIpedia will offer. Even though the aim had shifted, this workshop was more successful in explicitly outputting impact indicators. Interesting cross-sectoral indicators were developed on health and gender.

The full workshop outcome report can be found here.

Stakeholder Survey

Launched in April 2018, the ISIpedia Stakeholder Survey covered the topics i) use of climate-impact information, ii) content/information for relevant “impact assessments,” iii) useful sectoral and cross-sectoral indicators for climate impacts and iv) questions on design of the ISIpedia portal. With 131 usable responses from over 56 countries and with survey respondents working across all ISIMIP sectors, the ISIpedia Stakeholder Survey was a great insight into the potential end users of the ISIpedia portal. Results and analysis from the survey have already been used to inform discussion on the wireframes for the ISIpedia portal and will continue to shape its development as well as the scientific focus and protocol of the ISIMIP simulations. The full report can be found here.

Furthermore, ISIpedia published a study assessing the needs of climate services in West Africa in Climate Services in conjunction with CLIMAP, a climate web portal for agriculture in Senegal. The study was based on a synthesized analysis of the surveys conducted by the two initiatives. Find a summary of and a link to the publication here.

Input on Design of ISIpedia Portal

The Stakeholder Engagement Team has been actively involved in the iterative rounds of design and feedback on the development of the ISIpedia portal. In the first year of the project, the ISIpedia partners, in coordination with a design company, have been working on developing “ISIpedia wireframes,” scaffolding of all of the features and structures necessary and desired for a user-friendly, climate-impact portal. The development of the wireframes drew on examples of existing climate services and other socio-environmental data portals. More importantly, input from many stakeholders heavily influenced the ISIpedia wireframes.
Responses from the ISIpedia Stakeholder survey were directly fed into the wireframe development discussions. Topics such as useful features and content were extracted from the survey and shared with the design team. Additionally, SET created a set of hypothetical “user journeys” or potential click-paths that a stakeholder may want to take when visiting the future ISpedia platform. A small group of stakeholders familiar with ISIpedia also commented on an intermediary draft of the wireframes through a feedback webinar. This provided the design company with a direct channel of communication to the future users of the ISIpedia portal.

With the finalization of the wireframes and the selection of a design company at the beginning of 2019, the final design stage could begin.

In 2020, ISIpedia took further shape. Stakeholders were able to feedback on the design and set up of the ISIpedia articles, which helped to shape the final version of the portal.
Within this review process, it also became clear that stakeholders are not only interested in peer-reviewed articles, which is what ISIpedia provides, but also in ISIMIP based indicators. To meet these stakeholder needs, Climate Analytics offered to do further data analysis and visualise the needed data in the final workshops. Thanks to synergies with the NGFS project, we were able to make these analysis and visualisation available through the newly launched Climate Impact Explorer. The tool complements the information available on ISIpedia.

Due to the pandemic, the final workshops only took place in April and June 2021. The workshops were held virtually and focused on how to use ISIpedia and the Climate Impact Explorer in practise. Both workshops included a tour through both portals and detailed information on ISIMIP, the underlying database.
In case you are interested in further collaboration or training on ISIpedia and the Climate Impact Explorer, do not hesitate to reach out.

ISIpedia can be explored at this web address.