Published | 17th July 2017

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Kenya Climate Information Services Country Report

Country assessments into the impact of climate information services (CIS) in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Niger were carried out in 2016 to review the quality, practices and impacts of climate information services (CIS) approaches developed and implemented by CARE’s Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP). In Kenya this focused on the Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP) approach for interpreting and using seasonal forecasts for adaptation decision making at County sub-national level. PSP has been mainstreamed in all 47 Kenya Counties as a seasonal decision making platform, since 2014. The studies were commissioned by ALP and carried out by C4EcoSolutions.

The country reports explore the extent of PSP adoption at scale around three key lines of investigation:

  1. PSP Process – What are the emerging good practices for implementing PSPs? Learning from how it has been implemented in the different contexts, innovations in the process, success factors and challenges of implementing the approach.
  2. Communication – What are the most promising communication channels for climate information to reach and effectively support decision making by vulnerable communities and local services? Learning from the current reach of seasonal forecasts and advisories to different actors, barriers and opportunities for improved access and communication of climate information.
  3. Use and impact – What is the value of this information and process to the different actors? Learning from how different actors have used seasonal forecasts and advisories in decision making.

The World Met Organisation (WMO) Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) sets a goal for learning exchange and cross country collaboration to enable development and use of science-based climate information into planning, policy and practice. In this light, the Kenya and Ethiopia reports were launched in Nairobi on 16th June 2017 during an Ethiopia – Kenya knowledge exchange visit.

CARE hosted the meeting, which was presided over by the Director of the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) and the Deputy Director General of the Ethiopian National Meteorological Agency (NMA). Key findings from the two reports were presented and a panel of KMD, Council of Governors and CARE’s PRIME project in Ethiopia discussed the plans for sustainability of County level PSPs in Kenya. The 26 Ethiopian visiting participants came from the Ethiopian NMA; sub national Disaster Risk Management Commissions and Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Management Bureaus; CARE Ethiopia and Mercy Corps Ethiopia. A wide range of Kenya participants attended: KMD was well represented by the Director and 4 Deputy Directors; as were the Kenya Climate Change Directorate, Council of Governors, KALRO, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries project, ASDSP, Mediae (Media for Education and Development) and FICCF. Africa Regional representation came from the WMO Sub-Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, CDKN, CCAFS East Africa and the World Bank Group. The meeting came at the end of a 6-day learning route, and provided the team with an opportunity to share their experiences and learning from implementation and institutionalisation of PSP in Kenya.

For Ethiopian participants, the most outstanding take away was the level of engagement and leadership of government institutions (KMD, ASDSP and county leadership) and the kind of partnership and operational synergies created between government and NGO institutions in the successful implementation and scale-up/out of PSP in the 47 counties in Kenya. This resonates with findings in the Kenya report that the multi-stakeholder PSP process has contributed to improved relationships and increased interactions between County level KMD and technical sectoral institutions and communities, leading to sector-wide partnerships between institutions to co-produce and communicate climate information to users.

Key success factors of PSPs in Ethiopia and Kenya include; i) developing new knowledge for communities and individual members (e.g. communicating the element of uncertainty and probability for decision-making), ii). creating new and transforming existing stakeholder relationships (e.g. community members and other users having better informed engagement with technical personnel and producers of climate forecasts) and iii). bringing community members that have otherwise been marginalised – such as women and youth – into the decision making process.

Findings on PSP in the two countries provide a demonstration of what a functional user interface platform, under GFCS, would look like in terms of providing a structured means for users, climate scientists, climate information providers, institutions and organisations working in different sectors etc. to interact at all levels and co-develop climate information services that are relevant to the decision making context. It also provides evidence that for climate services to contribute to building adaptive capacity and resilience to climate, processes that continually re-evaluate the context, anticipate future uncertainties and foster seemingly unlikely relationships, are essential.

Related Resources:

Read the Ethiopia climate information services country report here

Read the Niger climate information services country report here

Read the Ghana climate information services country report here

Read the Malawi climate information services country report here

Read the blog about the climate information services and participatory scenario planning knowledge exchange between Ethiopia and Kenya here

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