This brief presents the learning from integrating Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP) into woreda level Early Warning Systems (EWS) in the Oromia region in Ethiopia, carried out under the SPIR program.

It draws on findings from a study carried out in two woredas, Chiro and Gemechis, which sought to understand different stakeholders’ perceptions of the changes in EWS since the introduction of PSP by the SPIR program in 2017, and the impact on people’s decision making and early actions in response to climate shocks and stresses.

SPIR is a USAID-funded Strengthening PSNP4 Institutions and Resilience Program, led by World Vision in a consortium with CARE and ORDA.

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BRIEF: Integration of Participatory Scenario Planning into woreda level EWS in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, agriculture is a major part of Ethiopia’s socioeconomic fabric, contributing over 40 percent of the national GDP and employing around 80 percent of the population.

Smallholder farmers predominantly drive Ethiopia’s agriculture sector. Climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of climate events such as drought and flooding due to variability and unpredictability of rainfall. This has led to a 50-90 percent reduction in crop production in chronically food insecure parts of the country, resulting in the need for humanitarian assistance and impacting long-term development outcomes.

The current set-up of early warning systems in Ethiopia lacks the functionality needed to support informed decision making and early action. Effective early warning systems (EWS) can support early actions which mitigate the worst disaster impacts, reduce the scale of the humanitarian intervention needed and protect development gains.

The findings explored in the brief show that PSP has addressed a number of challenges with the setup of the current EWS and supports calls for sustaining and scaling up the approach.