There have been many initiatives to strengthen weather and climate information and services across Africa in the last decade or so, with numerous valuable outcomes. However, it is commonly observed that availability and uptake of information and services is still relatively low and that this represents a threat to social and economic development.
The “mainstreaming” of weather and climate information into decision making is recognised to be a multi-disciplinary process involving components that include, inter alia, climate science and information services, translational science (developing appropriate communication approaches and delivery channels) as well as issues of governance to incentivise service delivery and use (as, for example, exists for weather services to the aviation sector). Considerable research has been conducted to improve capabilities in some aspects of these individual components, including pilot projects, generally of sub-national scale, to improve interaction and mutual understanding between climate information providers and users. The UN-led Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) is now providing important guidance for new programmes and fostering and promoting government recognition of the benefits of climate services. However, there has as yet been no major large scale Africa-focussed initiative to comprehensively address the various barriers to progress in an integrated way and to consider also their interactions and dependencies. There is a growing consensus that this lack of a holistic approach lies behind currently limited progress in uptake of weather and climate services.
The need for an innovative, holistic approach forms the central motivation behind DFID’s consideration of a new intervention – Climate Information and Services for Africa (CIASA). CIASA aims to achieve a step change in use of weather and climate information in Africa by addressing, at scale and in an integrated and coordinated way, the very diverse barriers to uptake and use of weather and climate services. Current planning is for a 4-year programme (as Phase 1 and including inception) disbursing £35 million to operational and research investments. It is anticipated that further phases of CIASA may follow. In November 2014 DFID procured a Met Office-led team to scope, analyse options and support design of the CIASA programme. The team comprised weather and climate experts from the UK and Africa as well as representatives from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), and experts in the fields of climate communication and development. This report presents the results of the scoping study and summarises DFID’s selection of preferred intervention options for Phase 1.
CIASA has been renamed WISER - Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa.
This report has been produced by the Met Office for Evidence on Demand with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited.
Graham, R.; Ticehurst, H.; Leathes, B.; Wade, S.; Visman, E.; Bayley, S.; Kane, C.; Shongwe, M.; Ferreira, T.; Amato, R.; Bain, C.; Boyd, E.; Dilley, M.; Janes, T.; Lumbroso, D.; May, S.; Oakley, T.; Powell, R. Scoping, options analysis and design of a &#8216;Climate Information and Services Programme&#8217; for Africa (CIASA): Final report, May 2015. Evidence on Demand, UK (2015) iii + 155 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_cr.may2015.grahamr1]