Using Data and Analytics to Build Climate Resilience

On Thursday, October 20, 2022, the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) hosted the first hybrid workshop on the Regional Resilience Data and Analytics Services (RDAS) and various sectoral decision support systems (DSSs) at the Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, Thailand.

The event, which was livestreamed simultaneously on RIMES online platforms (i.e. Zoom and Youtube), was attended by over 150 onsite and virtual participants representing government institutions, international development agencies, non-profit organizations, and other entities in the field of climate change adaptation from at least ten countries in Asia. It was part of a three-day Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CARE) for South Asia Regional Workshop organized by RIMES and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) with support from the World Bank.

Dr. Itesh Dash, RDAS and DSSs Development Lead at RIMES, opened the program with a presentation on the RDAS development process. This was followed by a live demonstration of the new features of the RDAS led by Mr. Sanjil Shrestha, RIMES’ Data Visualization Expert.

Dr. Itesh Dash and Mr. Sanjil Shrestha delivered presentations on the RDAS development process and RDAS features, respectively.

RDAS, according to the presenters, offers a one-stop system for climate data and analytics, for aiding information requirements of various climate change practitioners and researchers in South Asia. It is not, as Mr. Shrestha pointed out, an attempt to “reinvent the wheel” but may be seen as an “online shopping basket,” where users may select specific types of climate and/or sectoral data; view or analyze these; and produce relevant analyses/reports (including trends, correlations, etc.). For instance, an economic planner may turn to the RDAS to see how climate events may impact on the availability of particular commodities in the future.

Aside from familiarizing participants with the capacities of the RDAS, the workshop immersed stakeholders in using artificial intelligence and machine learning applications for continually improving analyses of climate-sector relationships, and viable response options for managing risks and opportunities.

Following the presentations was a panel discussion on institutional responses to climate events, gaps in climate-informed planning and decision-making, and RDAS potential applications for addressing the gaps.

Members of the panel weigh in on the RDAS and its implications to climate-informed planning and decision-making.

The panel was facilitated by CARE Component 1 Project Director Ms. Ruby Rose Policarpio and was composed of five discussants from different fields: Dr. Nagaraja Rao Harshadeep (Global Lead for Disruptive Technology in the Sustainable Development Practice Group, World Bank); Mr. Muhammad Ayoub Soomro (Additional Secretary Technical, Sindh Irrigation Department, Pakistan); Mr. Anil Pokhrel (Chief Executive, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, Nepal); Mr. Colin Fernandes (Preparedness Technical Lead, American Red Cross); and Dr. Michael Ernst (USAID and Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance Regional Advisor for South Asia). The program ended with a question-and-answer session where participants had a chance to voice out questions to the panelists, feedback on RDAS, and their climate-relevant information requirements that could be addressed by RDAS.

Several interactive screens were put up in the workshop venue to enable an immersive experience for stakeholders.

Explore the RDAS portal: rdas.rimes.int. Know more about the CARE for South Asia project at www.careforsouthasia.info.

Watch the full recording here