The IRAP effort, specifically entitled “Integrating Climate Information and Decision Processes for Regional Climate Resilience” aims to increase resilience in selected regions and sectors by continuous improvement of the production and provision of climate information, tailored to the specific needs and context, as determined by vulnerability assessments, and articulated by the stakeholders (resource managers, planners, policy makers, corporate decision makers, etc). The current regions of focus are the Caribbean and the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
IRAP offers the following benefits to the GFCS:
a) User Interface Platform : Members of the IRAP team participate in and contribute to existing Regional Climate Outlook Forums, which are designed to facilitate the development and discussion of relevant climate information. The IRAP utilizes these and other events (some of which are convened directly by IRAP) to employ social science methodologies to identify user needs and capacities, and explore and evaluate the nature of climate services in this context.
b) The Climate Services Information System: The IRAP conducts vulnerability and impact focused research, the results of which can feed into the development and use of effective climate services.
c) Research, Modeling and Prediction: Based on user needs and capacities identified by workshops and study, IRAP works with regional and national organizations to co-develop experimental products for the consideration and evaluation of decision makers in various sectors.
d) Capacity Development: IRAP enhances capacity through collaboration and training.
In each of the regions of focus, the project addresses the following strategic activities:
• Expand scope and utility of climate information available in the region from seasonal to include sub-seasonal and also longer timescales
• Investigate the use of climate thresholds/triggers for developing proto-type decision support (requires the elaboration of the full forecast PDF).
• Map information networks, identifying key entry points and decision nodes, effectiveness of connections, and gaps. Work towards a systematic methodology.
• Identify vulnerabilities within the countries/regions where we engage, and identify the role that climate plays in creating the vulnerabilities and that climate information could play in reducing them.
• Conduct a thorough evaluation of all aspects of the project and, to the extent possible in the timeframe of the program, its effectiveness in achieving the program’s stated social impact and outcomes
• Implement “IRAP-approach” drill-down projects in the Caribbean and Indo-Gangetic Plain
• Facilitate and study structured stakeholder engagement processes that facilitate co-production of knowledge and services
For each region of focus:
1) Determine vulnerabilities and user needs;
2) Co-produce climate information;
3) Create relevant decision support tools;
4) Improve system through evaluation; and
5) Enhance regional and local capacity.
1) Enhanced capacity to develop, implement and benefit from climate information services in targeted regions; and
2) Demonstrations of methodologies (including evaluation) relevant to climate services overall.
One example of a specific outcome is a prototype map room for the Caribbean:
NOAA and USAID support a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the IRI and the University of Arizona on a five-year grant awarded through a competitive research funding process.
Indicators and assessment measures:
IRAP includes an evaluation component that takes place at various stages in the project.