Strengthening resilience to any threat—whether of a climate or non-climate origin—starts with identifying and understanding the risks.
Having access to the best available data on climate variability and its impacts, as well as the ability to analyse it and apply it in support of dynamic, long-term national planning and decision-making, is fundamental to a government’s ability to pursue a climate-resilient, sustainable path of development.
AAP national teams, with steady support from the Regional Office, helped governments acquire the infrastructure and develop the capabilities needed for data access, analysis and application through the procurement of specialised, high-performance computer hardware, the use of data and content management software, and training in the operation of both. At the close of the AAP, every participating country had gained access to improved technical information to support decision making, had trained leaders and technical staff on its use, and had completed studies aimed at understanding their specific climate risks and vulnerabilities.
Equipment such as high-performance computers (HPCs), automated weather monitoring stations, early warning systems and/or geographic information mapping technology was procured in 16 countries. Training in the use of this technology was provided to 450 people. Through partnerships with universities, research institutes and scientific organisations, the AAP has increased the availability of data to participating countries, and the use of models for long-term climate predictions as well as cutting-edge tools for adaptation decision-making in the face of climate uncertainty.
As policy-makers get access to the best available data they become better informed not just on the magnitude of the challenge they are facing and the consequences of inaction, but also the windows of opportunity currently open to them. They become both encouraged and enabled to secure their development agendas.
To this end, participating countries have established climate change units, created data collection systems and trained experts on how to access and process data to assess vulnerability and risk, and develop adaptation strategies and policies. Crucial knowledge tools such as climate modelling studies, risk assessments, and vulnerability and hazard maps have been produced.
A number of AAP countries have already made great advancements as a result of studies undertaken using technology procured by the AAP. This is pivotal work in the scheme of building adaptive capacity and, ultimately, resilience.
Currently, our department does not have a server or a central storage unit for data. With this new unit, data will be stored in a central location, be readily available in any format a user may need and be used to support climate modelling and predictions. This equipment will help us share data with all sectors and readily and easily incorporate issues of climate change into national development plans. Mookho Monnapula, Meteorologist with Lesotho Meteorological Services
With the HPC servers and the training we’ll now be able to better organise our database and create a comprehensive set of high resolution climate scenarios. We’ll also be able to create a set of climatological maps of recent climate activity, improve the meteorological bulletins we issue for the agricultural sectors and facilitate the exchange of information between institutions. José Sequeira, Meteorologist with Mozambique’s National Meteorological Institute
Article in The Baobab Coalition Journal about Burkina Faso’s application of new data-sourcing technology.
Article from the first edition of The Baobab Coalition Journal about the aims and rational of the Regional Office’s Data and Information Management Component.
Partnerships: While at the national level the AAP worked closely with national meteorological and hydrological services, disaster management authorities, government departments and research institutions to strengthen their data and information management capacity, at the regional and continental level the AAP established partnerships with key African technical support centres. For a full list of these, see page 28 of the AAP Terminal Report.