Improved support in decision making over Eastern Africa through the use of real time S2S datasets

Last modified by S2S_regionact on 2022/01/19 23:02


In recent times, Eastern Africa has faced a series of droughts, heat waves and flood events.  These extreme events remain a major threat to lives and livelihoods within Eastern Africa due to low adaptive capacity and high dependence of its economic activities and growth on climate variability. Some of the seasons that had a high frequency of flooding events include the March to May (MAM) 2018, October to December (OND) 2019 and MAM 2020. The impact of these events in MAM 2020 was enhanced due to the previously wet OND 2019 season. The region is also well known for the notorious consecutive drought events e.g., the OND 2010/MAM 2011; OND 2018/MAM 2019. The high frequency of these events increases the need for the provision of actionable and timely early warning information over the region.  Although seasonal forecasts can give an indication of the decisions that should be made, sub-seasonal forecasts are important in informing stakeholders on when to take action and it can help to reduce exposure to weather and climate extremes. 


The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), which is a WMO accredited Regional Climate Center is working in collaboration with the Agriculture and Food Security and the hydrology sectors in co-producing tailored climate products using the real time S2S datasets. The real time S2S data access was granted in November 2019, and has recently been permitted to run for another year up to 2022. The WISER support to ICPAC (W2SIP), Towards Forecast based Preparedness Action (ForPAC) and Global Challenge Research Fund African Science for Weather Information and Forecasting (GCRF African SWIFT) Projects were also granted access, and have engaged various sectors to co-produce user relevant metrics that enhance decision making over the region. 


 The co-production process that was adopted in the SWIFT project has six main building blocks as defined by Carter et al. (2019): i) identification of key actors and building partnerships, ii) building common ground and understanding,  iii) co-exploring needs, iv) co-developing solutions and v) co-delivering those solutions to climate users, and  vi) evaluation phase.  The products produced in the SWIFT project are useful for humanitarian appeal and mitigating against drought and flood risk over the region. These products are complemented by those produced by ForPAC  for Drought Early Warning Systems in Kenya.  The W2SIP products were utilized by the hydrology sector over the major basins in Eastern Africa to inform decision on potential pluvial and fluvial flooding. The ACREI project is also supported to inform decision making at local scale in specific focus areas of Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. Utilizing the co-production approach shifts the emphasis away from a supply-driven forecast products to a demand-led process to produce tailored products, thus potentially increasing the uptake and use of sub-seasonal forecasts over the region. 




Boult, V.L., Asfaw, D.T., Young, M., Maidment, R., Mwangi, E., Ambani, M., Waruru, S., Otieno, G., Todd, M.C. and Black, E., 2020. Evaluation and validation of TAMSAT‐ALERT soil moisture and WRSI for use in drought anticipatory action. Meteorological Applications, 27(5), p.e1959


Hirons, Linda, et al. "Using co-production to improve the appropriate use of sub-seasonal forecasts in Africa." Climate Services 23 (2021): 100246.


Hirons, L., et al.  2021. GCRF African SWIFT White Paper Policy Brief. Exploiting Sub-seasonal Forecast Predictability in Africa: A Key to Sustainable Development.

Created by S2S_regionact on 2021/10/18 19:11
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