Findings of the East Africa Humanitarian Climate Risk Management Workshop

Daly, Meaghan; Balfour, Nancy; Hellmuth, Molly E.; Mason, Simon J.; Kirsch-Wood, Jenty; van Aalst, Maarten K.

The East African humanitarian community is looking for ways to better respond to the challenges presented by climate risks, including climate change, but is struggling to access appropriate and targeted scientific data that can inform their operations. Recent advances in science and technology have produced a variety of new tools for humanitarian organizations working on climate risk management. Humanitarian actors have an enormous opportunity to utilize these tools to inform risk reduction, preparedness and contingency planning, as well as program implementation. Despite such advances, many challenges remain to the practical application of these tools in the humanitarian context. Often times, climate information is too technical or lacks the context necessary for use in humanitarian planning and operations. Thus, climate information must be tailored to specific needs and presented in formats that are readily accessible to these users. In response, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), in close collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), initiated the development of a 2-day Humanitarian Climate Risk Management Workshop on 23- 24 February 2010. Initiatives that enable interaction can help to bridge the divide between humanitarian practitioners and climate experts; feedback provided by end-users can guide research and development of new prediction technologies and tools, as well as more appropriate packaging of current information. At the same time, humanitarian actors need to evaluate how such information can usefully inform their decision-making at various timescales. The challenge of decision-making under uncertainty must be addressed if climate information is to be used effectively within humanitarian planning, preparedness, and response. This workshop aimed to address such barriers to the use of climate information.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
IRI Technical Report, 10-05
Published Here
June 2, 2010