Digital inclusion and mobile platforms have become critical for global access to the information society and knowledge economy.
Successful climate resilience strategies are developed with built-in risk reduction and management strategies; communities need to adapt and prepare systems for mitigating risk and building resilience in order to increase adaptive capacity to respond to disasters. Implementing early warning systems (EWS) for extreme weather events is part of these risk reduction and management strategies.
EWS are critical for disaster preparedness and response to climate-related shocks. EWS are able to generate and disseminate warning information to at-risk individuals in a meaningful and timely manner. The main components of EWS include risk knowledge and understanding, monitoring and predicting, response capability, and warning communication.
Mobile and digital technologies can enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of EWS for collecting and analyzing meteorological data and disseminating warnings. They can have a transformational impact for helping communities to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Through its global expertise in mobile for development, GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) is well placed to become a knowledge and thought partner to guide and inspire key stakeholders on their digital journey and understand and value the importance of global south to the global north learning.
Our role, methods and approaches
Itad is leading research focused on EWS for the USA. The project consists of two components:
- Through an initial rapid literature review, we are identifying frequent climate hazards or extreme weather events in the US. Based on a rapid assessment of risks and socio-economic impact, we are able to identify priority climate hazards or extreme weather events and select two regions in the US affected by these hazards.
- We are also undertaking a comprehensive literature review to develop a profile of the two selected regions. Our goal is to characterize the climate risks, socio-economic impact on the local communities, and existing gaps/opportunities for improving EWS through mobile and digital technologies. The profile includes an evaluation of the impact and inclusion/exclusion of minority and disadvantaged communities.
- An additional desk-based review will identify examples of digital solutions implemented in LMICs that could provide lessons to enable or strengthen EWS in the selected regions in the US.
- Based on a literature review, we will identify models or frameworks of ‘South-to-North’ transfer of knowledge and innovation, particularly any that exist in the fields of innovations for climate resilience and disaster response. These frameworks will inform and help to frame the primary research.
Primary data collection
We are conducting semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in the two regions in order to capture knowledge on the strengths and gaps in the existing EWS in the selected regions. These interviews also document current and future opportunities for adopting and implementing digital and mobile technologies to strengthen and improve existing EWS.
The interviews will validate findings from the literature review, as well as cover gaps in the literature.
Outcomes and impact
Our research will result in recommendations to strengthen EWS. It aims to improve the inclusion of minority groups in climate resilience strategies through capturing learnings and best practices from the global south related to climate mitigation strategies that can be used in the US context.