Our new impact collaboration aims to create more demand-responsive early warning systems tailored to community needs – through a focus on communication methods and content effectiveness.

In May 2023, we called for organizations to join us in an in an impact collaboration to find answers to the question: “How can we bridge the disconnects between food security, climatic and natural disaster Early Warning Systems and the anticipatory actions that pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in the Horn of Africa can take to overcome recurring shocks and threats to their lives and livelihoods?”

After a rich process to uncover and clarify key dimensions of the problem, on 25 March, together with the Challenge Owner – the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations – and the Data for Children Collaborative, project partners met to start implementing the project.

Led by Urban Foresight (UK), the team comprising i-shamba (Kenya) Maanshiil Consult (Ethiopia) and Omeva consulting (UK and Namibia) will recommend enhanced communication content and methods between early warning system providers and agro-pastoral and pastoral communities in Ethiopia and Kenya to increase the effectiveness of the early warnings and the anticipatory actions that can be taken in response to shocks.

The project will;

  • Identify current early warning communications methods both available and most used, formal and informal, modern and traditional.
  • Carry out community engagement to understand barriers to current communications channels and preferred channels of communications; and to understand how local actors in agro-pastoral and pastoral communities interpret the content that they receive.
  • Co-design recommendations with the communities concerned, on the preferred content and means of communication of an effective warning in order to effectively respond to the early warning.
  • Document the community practices and traditional knowledge used to anticipate climate shocks and natural disasters. Assess the effectiveness of the practices and potential to scale the response to the national or regional level.  Explore opportunities to integrate community practices and traditional knowledge into early warning systems to improve their effectiveness.

For more information, contact Aurelie Walker at Urban Foresight.