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Webinar: Delivering African Climate Information Services Sustainably: Capacity gaps and recommendations for National Meteorological and Hydrological Services




June 5, 2018


Since the institution of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) in 2009, the need to deliver climate services has become mainstream (and expected) amongst National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and climate science research institutions. In addition, the GFCS framework expects the development of climate services to include appropriate engagement and capacity development of users of climate information.  However, the delivery of user-relevant climate information may not previously have been within the remit of NMHSs and research institutions and many will have to develop the expertise and capacity required to deliver it meaningfully. This webinar showcased learning from an assessment of the effectiveness and sustainability of seven African NMHSs to deliver CIS: Senegal, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Niger. This included a baseline assessment of the selected NMHSs and recommendations on how to bridge and prioritize capacity gaps. Seven countries were included in the assessment. This webinar took place on Thursday, 14 June 2018. Watch the recording: Facilitator: Erica Allis, Global Framework for Climate Services Speakers Dr Tufa Dinku (International Research Institute for Climate and Society) Assessment methodology and recommendations (Part I): Metrics to identify capacity needs of NMHS; Recommendations for improving observational and monitoring capacity Dr Tufa Dinku is a climate scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), The Earth Institute at Columbia University. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of in meteorology, agrometeorology, climate services, and early warning systems.  This includes 12 years of operational meteorology at the National Meteorology Agency of Ethiopia and 12 years of research and applications at the IRI . Dr Dinku leads the ENACTS (Enhancing National Climate Services) program, which is a unique multi-faceted initiative designed to bring climate knowledge into national decision-making.  ENACTS focuses on enabling National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to create reliable climate data and information products that are suitable for national and local level decision-making. Download Tufa’s presentation here. Dr Mark Tadross (Climate System Analysis Group, University of Cape Town) Assessment recommendations (Part II):Interventions to improve research, modelling and prediction; climate service information systems; and user interface platforms. Currently working as a technical specialist on climate information and early warning systems (EWS), he provides support to projects using climate information, developing climate related EWS and undertaking associated risk and vulnerability assessments. He has helped to develop projects funded through both the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF), recently helping to design GCF-funded climate-, agricultural- and water management-related projects, for countries including Zambia, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea and Malawi. He has been an advisor to both national and international organisations (Including the World Bank and United Nations) for over 15 years, providing scientific and technical guidance, and analytical support to understand climate variability and change, as well as modelling the resulting impacts on agriculture, water resources and disaster management. He has worked in countries across Africa and Asia, developing downscaled (high resolution) climate change scenarios and seasonal forecasts using a range of climate/crop models and tools, as well as being a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th assessment report. Download Mark’s presentation here. Mr Kinfe Hailemariam (Ethiopian National Meteorological Agency) Discussant: Response from the Ethiopian NMHS to project analysis. Mr Kinfe Hailemariam, currently, director for meteorological research and studied directorate at the National Meteorological Agency (NMA) of Ethiopia. MSc in Weather, Climate and Modeling from Reading University, UK. Worked for NMA over 27 years in different positions. Also coordinated different NMA project supported by AFDB, KOICA, WMO, etc. Contributed for the enhancement of NMA modernization including modern station expansion, database, interconnecting over 14 NMA centers with computer network and video conference centers.  Played roles in all major project appraisals for improvement of NMA services. Download Kinfe’s presentation here. Prof. Amadou Thierno Gaye (Université Cheikh Anta Diop) Discussant: The role of universities to support pedagogy and research on climate information services. Prof. Amadou Thierno Gaye, is the Director General of Research and Innovation in the Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education, research and innovation. He is a full Professor at University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar (UCAD) and has served in many positions : Director of Laboratory of Atmospheric and Ocean Physics Simeon Fongang of UCAD (from 2002 to 2015), Director of Doctoral School on Water (EDEQUE) of UCAD  from 2014 to 2017 and Director of Ecole Superieure (ESP) of UCAD from 2015 to 2017. Before that he was Chief of department of Computer Sciences of the ESP from 2008 to 2012, an Engineering School of UCAD, among the most prestigious in the region. Prof Gaye was able successively to lead new initiatives, implement policies and programs at various levels and dealing with different stakeholders in science, technology, innovation by managing an academic training and also developing a higher standard research. Download Amadou’s presentation here. Dr Tegan Blaine (United States Agency for International Development) Discussant: Response on donor support for sustainable CIS delivery Tegan Blaine is the Senior Climate Change Advisor in the Bureau for Africa at USAID. Her duties include setting the strategic direction for USAID’s climate change investments in Africa, as well as leading a team that provides thought leadership and technical support to USAID missions in Africa, including on climate and health. Before USAID, she worked at McKinsey & Company on climate and energy issues. Prior to joining McKinsey, she was a policy advisor on water at the U.S Department of State. Tegan has a Ph.D. in oceanography and climate from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and an Sc.B. in mathematical ecology from Brown University. She taught secondary math and physics as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, East Africa. List of webinar Q&As is available here.