Using simple mobile technologies to scale up digital collection & processing of climate observations for adaptation actions in Malawi

This Technical Assistance will complement the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) and Department of Water Resources (DWR) by allowing DCCMS and DWR to extensively test and investigate the use of mobile phone technologies as a solution to comprehensively collect and digitize water, weather and climate observations and apply that data as a basis for decision making in dealing with climate change and variability.

A pre-feasibility analysis will be done on the possibility to use simple mobile phones to conduct a comprehensive and systematic collection of data for application in impact modeling and developing climate futures for purposes of adaptation and disaster risk management in Malawi. The system will probably include a cloud database that will collect and treat the data received by SMS from simple mobile phones. Once verified, this information will be sent to DCCMS and DWR directly and/or via an online Data Center (database management system). This additional observation data can there be used to analyze and compare with historical data, daily observation from sensors and satellites, and corresponding daily time series of climate projections to derive general and specific data resources for regional impact and adaptation models for Malawi.

The proposed technology is expected to provide techniques to adapt to climate change and provide practical knowledge and skills to undertake effective data digitization and analysis for impact modeling and adaptation. Once the feasibility is finalized and should the technology seem to be implementable in the context of Malawi, the architecture of the system will be designed, defined, shared with the main stakeholders in the country, and endorsed before being tested at a scale that demonstrates and validates the technical application potential of the observation data collected. Additionally, a financial model will be elaborated to ensure the financial viability of the technology in the short, medium, and long term in the context of Malawi. Finally, future users and administrators will be trained in the new technology with “learn by doing” workshops to ensure the technology can be efficiently used once the TA is over.

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