Towards Forecast-based Preparedness Action (ForPAc): Probabilistic forecast information for defensible preparedness decision-making and action

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London


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Planned Impact

ForPAc is carefully designed to have direct and measurable impact during, and well beyond the timeframe and location of the project activities in Kenya. We will utilise a Participatory Impact Pathways Analysis (PIPA) framework and method to plan, monitor and evaluate the impact of our project. This will be rooted in, and flow from a coherent 'Theory of Change' established early in the project. Management structures include; 1). An impact sub-group led by co-I APHRC. 2) An advisory Panel (contingent on advice from SHEAR KE) providing strategic guidance, with representation from key regional organisations, civil society, donors and multi-laterals. ForPAc will generate impact because (i) we will improve existing EWS (ii) we include the key decision-making agencies and intermediaries to communities, building on partnerships already well established. The case study method of co-production of knowledge and stakeholder-driven deliberative processes will result in co-ownership of the process, direct applicability and development impact. We will strengthen the 'community of practice' in Kenya and beyond including 'champions' in relevant organisations, for continued legacy.
Benefits will accrue at 3 levels
(i) Local stakeholders. 1) 'delivery agencies' at Kenya county level e.g. government (agriculture, emergency services), and NGOs' operatives 2) communities themselves. Benefits: greater awareness of ForPAc innovations in early warning information and tools/approaches for preparedness planning. Method: enabling process of deep stakeholder engagement from the outset, starting with EWS mapping processes, and iterative process of EWS and portal development, within our continuous monitoring and evaluation.
(ii) National mandated agencies. The NDMA, KMD, Red Cross Kenya and NGOs within ALERT network. Operational practices will be directly influenced by the project's forecast-based action research e.g. improved methods of risk forecast production, early warning advice based on agreed decision "triggers" and improved standard operating procedures through new and improved tools. Through collaboration, iteration and co-production ForPAc will ensure a real sense of ownership of these innovations. Enhanced EWS capacity will strengthen national trust in the mandated agencies - encouraging uptake across government support in the future and will inform policy planning on DRR by government ministries. Outputs (products, portals training modules and decision tools) and lessons will be shared: Across IGAD nations through ICPAC the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum process; Across Africa through the wider networks of the team. In this way legacy impact is ensured.
(iii) 'Advocacy' level. Regional and international agencies that set agendas for DRR, such as ISDR, FAO, WMO, WFP, FEWSNet and national donors including DfID, utilising the extensive existing policy network of the project consortium. We will inform key policy makers and forums of best practice, cutting edge science, emerging challenges in the science and implementation of our innovations in EWS. Method: a programme of policy engagement including workshops and meetings with invited high-level agency representatives, interventions at forums, policy briefings.
Our UK/Kenya team has an excellent track record of delivering impact and policy engagement (see CVs and track records). Our Co-I's Pelling and Visman have experience in NERC Knowledge Exchange. ForPAc impact will draw on lessons from a wide array of related projects with Co-I involvement e.g. FCFA IMPALA and consortia; AdA consortium; ALERT; Urban-Ark; the Red Cross-Kenya Resilience Initiative; BRACED projects; WISER projects; International forecast initiatives of the WMO (SWFDP, S2S); EUROSIP and Copernicus seasonal predictions; Foresight 'Reducing Risks of Future Disasters'. These projects will also be cross-fertilised by ForPAc potentially multiplying our impact considerably.


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Marengo (2017) American Journal of Climate Change in An Integrated Framework to Analyze Local Decision Making and Adaptation to Sea Level Rise in Coastal Regions in Selsey

Description The project research directly addressed the two key challenges: 1. Improving forecasts. Drawing on the best available international science, and global/regional modelling (including from the Met Office) we co-produced and evaluated new forecasts of decision-relevant flood and drought metrics that can be directly used in the existing risk management systems. Our analysis shows that Kenya is a 'sweetspot' of predictability across a range of timescales from sub-seasonal to seasonal lead times. We developed a suite of new forecast products for decision-relevant indicators of drought (including rainfall, vegetation and soil moisture) and flood (including river flow and inundation maps) across a range of forecast lead times (from days to months) 2. Improving preparedness actions. We designed anticipatory decision-making processes, within the existing systems, triggered by these forecast products to mitigate hazard impacts. The explicit sharing of forecast skill assessments supports rational, evidence-based actions. The co-production processes and forecast skill assessments serve to build trust in the forecasts, ensuring forecasts are relevant and credible. These new forecast products were piloted with the risk management agencies for drought at the county level right down to flood risk in urban contexts. Workshops were held to explain the skill of these forecasts. This was directly linked to the appetite of decision makers to take certain actions in advance of hazard events e.g. establishing the 'tolerable' level of false alarm and action 'in vain'. The level of forecast skill that is deemed acceptable depends quite considerably on the decision making context and the preparedness actions being taken. Overall we developed the tools and procedures to facilitate 'seamless forecast for seamless actions' The outcomes The value of the project is reflected in changes in operational procedures in Kenya by the nationally mandated agencies: The new forecast products are now being produced operationally by KMD and RCMRD in Kenya Quotes from the Director of Kenya Met Dept.: 'ForPAc has "Supported improvements in existing forecast operations across our forecast portfolio [including] new co-produced forecast products [e.g. the] improved and actionable seasonal/monthly forecasts...used in the [Kenya] drought phase classification system, sustainably formalised into KMD operations" . "ForPAc has improved the capacity of KMD to take advantage of the major advances in global forecasting and the appetite of our national risk management agencies, to respond to this opportunity" [Director, KMD]. Quotes from the Director of the Regional Centre for Mapping and Resource Development (RCMRD) for East Africa. [RCMRD] "now use the [ForPAc] algorithmsand softwareinto our own pipeline [to] produce the novel VCI forecast product, [which is] qualitatively different from anything we've been able to do before and provides our stakeholders with a decision making tool with much greater power" [Director General, RCMRD]' These new forecasts are being used in operational forecast based preparedness actions. The Kenya NDMA is now incorporating drought forecasts in their EWS bulletins with advisory actions with the intention to develop a forecast-based drought EWS (rather than the existing reactive system) across all the arid and semi arid counties of Kenya. Quotes from the CEO of NDMA: Following [ForPAc] research, several novel and skilful forecasts of key drought indicators... have been co-developed and piloted in several counties. As a consequence, the NDMA has developed a new template for its monthly drought bulletins...The template now includes[these] forecasts", "in order to reduce the impact, recovery time and costs associated with traditional drought response" and "giving stakeholders ample time to initiate drought preparedness actions" . "These projects have substantially advanced our drought Early Warning System" ForPAc "built trust of the decision makers in these forecasts and the capacity of stakeholders in the counties to interpret... forecast... and probabilistic information has greatly improved". [CEO, NDMA] Similarly, the drought and flood forecast are incorporated into the new operational Early Action Protocols of the Kenya Red Cross Society. Quotes from KRCS and RCCC "ForPAc "supported decision-making at KRCS" leading to "concrete changes in its practices in disaster risk management and underpinning a paradigm shift towards a more anticipatory approach" [Head of Research and Training, KRCS]. Further, ForPAc activities represent "a template of how to move towards anticipatory risk management within existing national frameworks" [Director, Red Cross Climate Centre]. "[T]he ForPAc project has supported and advanced the technical aspects of Forecast based Finance application, influenced the way FbF is being scaled up by highlighting the importance of mainstreaming, while underpinning capacity and dialogue between national Red Cross societies, risk management agencies and the global FbF movement" . The research provided "the technical capacity to guide the development of [anticipatory action] in Africa These changes to operations systems represent a major shift in risk management in Kenya. The sustainability of these changes is supported by extensive capacity building in the forecasting and risk management agencies, including embedded staffing We have aligned the project with other initiatives, notably the GCRF Africa-SWIFT programme and the WISER projects in the region
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services