Use of Climate Information in the Greater Horn: Assessing the Needs of Institutional Users

Curry, Joseph

As part of the USAID funded project, "Capacity Building in Regional Climate Prediction and Applications for the Greater Horn of Africa," an assessment of institutional users of climate information was undertaken to better understand the climate information needs of organizations working in the Greater Horn Region. The International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) conducted the research with the assistance of the Drought Monitoring Centre Nairobi (DMCN). In the Greater Horn region, a critical number of institutions working in government, private industry, and the international and NGO community are affected by climatic variability. This research was conducted to assess their information needs and to provide feedback for improving regional and national-level climate information services for the Greater Horn. Forty-three institutions from Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia responded to written surveys and/or participated in on-site interviews. The assessment found that the majority of institutions participating recognize the role of climate information (both climate data and forecasts) in improving their planning and operational capacity. Furthermore, the institutions would like to strengthen their relationships with their climate information providers on the national and/or regional levels, and in many cases are proactive in seeking to build this relationship. As many climate information providers in the region move into parastatal arrangements, institutional users may prove to be an increasingly relevant customer base. Many institutions interviewed expressed a willingness to pay for some services. However this research identifying user needs stressed the necessity for 1) improving the quality of forecast and climate data products, 2) assistance in interpretation and applications of seasonal forecasts, 3) increasing regularity in dissemination of reports, 4) establishing a standardized pricing system, and 5) enhancing accessibility to climate data.

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Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
International Research Institute for Climate Prediction
IRI Technical Report, 01-02
Published Here
May 21, 2010