Joint GWP CEE/DMCSEE training: Communication and Drought by Robert Stefanski
Communication and Drought
Chief, Agricultural Meteorology Programme
TV, Radio, Newspapers
Social media (Facebook, twitter)
Internet – webpages
Workshops and meetings
Presentations and briefings
One-on-one technical assistance
Coordination with other ongoing projects
Users of Agrometeorological Information
Any agricultural decision-maker:
International officials (i.e. Red Cross, WFP, UN)
Farmers, ranchers, foresters, fishers
Is information relevant for decisions in particular agricultural system?
Are the sources/providers of information credible to intended user?
Are farmers receptive to information & to research?
Is research accessible to policymaker or decision- maker?
Is the information compatible with existing decision models and farming practice?
Do decision-makers have the capacity to use information?
(Jones, 2003; Pulwarty et al., 2003)
For climate information and forecasts to be used, four general requirements are identified:
1)Stakeholders (or intermediaries) must be able to obtain information from forecasts or existing information on factors or variables of direct interest to them and at lead times that allow for planning;
2)Paths to decisions must be clear and practical;
3)Stakeholders must be able to critically question the provided information to assess approriateness;
4)Stakeholders must be convinced that such information, when used effectively, will indeed make them better off than before.
Don’t promise too much to quickly.
Start with basic, easily accessible weather data and simple derived products.
For example, percentile maps, SPI
Relate the weather data to meaningful agricultural information.
While reported weather information may be useful without further elaboration, impact on agriculture is the ultimate goal. How does reported information affect crop growth and yield potential?
How does current weather situation compare to a past known event, which had an impact on agriculture?
Don’t oversell the information.
Drought has a direct impact on crop yield potential. However, other factors such as farm management practices (cultivation, fertilization, and migration) and technology changes (seed hybrids, conservation practices) may also influence yield potential.
Establish credibility slowly but surely.
There is an essential need to establish consistency and reliability in reporting. While responsive to changing user requirements and increasing demands for information, there is an absolute mandate to strive toward standards of reporting and effective quality control mechanisms.
Be proactive in demonstrating the usefulness of your products.
Always strive to improve the quality of the bulletin with new products and better representation of existing products.
Periodic user forums or surveys should be encouraged to maintain the necessary contact with the client of your bulletin.
Training and education is an essential component.
This must involve both the providers and users of data and information. Both parties involved in the agrometeorological bulletin must be able to ‘speak’ and ‘understand’ the same technical language.
Look to pool resources.
Human and financial resources are very often limited.
share ideas, exchange experiences, establish standard guidelines, and formulate recommendations for bulletin improvements.
With proper recognition for contributions and mutual access to the products, great strides can be achieved more rapidly by a concerted and coordinated effort.
Roving Seminars on Weather, Climate and Farmers
Seminar content is adapted to the local conditions of the country and regions
Roving seminars 1-2 day duration and bring together farmers from a group of villages to a centralized location in any given region
Based on the success from Mali, raingages distributed to the farmers at each seminar.
The focal point of each country, with assistance from Mali, prepared agrometeorological advice that was provided to the farmers along with the raingauges.
Roving Seminars on Weather, Climate and Farmers in West Africa
2009 Seminar - Mali Met Service Presentation