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


Malawians’ livelihood and safety are at risk with a changing climate. More than 80% depend on rainfed agriculture for livelihood and food, many live in flood-prone areas, and there are few alternative incomes or options for social mobility. The human costs of extreme events are large. Cyclone Ana of 2022, for example, caused 49 deaths and over 190,000 IDPs, as well as extensive damages to schools, hospitals, bridges, and roads, including disrupted power and water services. Adaptation through improved climate information services and warnings is critical. But in Africa, only 26% of surface network stations met minimum requirement in 2019 (WMO GCOS 2021). With little change in the preceding nine years, the WMO argues “that recent efforts to improve these statistics have had little impact” (Ibid.). Research on Cyclone Ana found that “observations of rainfall in the region are sparse and contain many instances of missing data, a quantitative assessment of trends is therefore fraught with uncertainties” (Otto E.L.F. et al., 2022). Malawi’s Department for Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) and Department for Water Resources (DWR) are looking for technical solutions to reactivate & expand many of its 700+ rainfall, and weather and water resources monitoring stations (surface and groundwater, including land-water processes such as sedimentation). The department argues that it is “one of the challenges the department is encountering in assessing, forecasting weather and developing climate futures for adaptation purposes” (DCCMS, 2020). Building adaptation to climate risks in Malawi depends on strengthening DCCMS with the capacity to use new additional technologies – thereby elevating its role in society with greater capacities to provide climate information services. This can be supported by providing technical assistance with training and with testing and rolling out the use of improved low-tech mobile and cloud technologies for comprehensive collections of daily observed records for application in impact modelling and adaptation.

CTCN Support

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 basis for decision making in dealing with climate change and variability.

  • Diagnosis and prefeasibility of using simple mobile technologies as a solution to comprehensively collect and digitize weather and climate observations for application in impact modelling and developing climate futures for purposes of adaptation and disaster risk management
  • Piloting the use of mobile phone technologies as a solution to comprehensively collect and digitize weather and climate observations
  • Designing a financial mechanism that would make this technology concept sustainable in the context of Malawi
  • Train future users, administrators and beneficiaries of the system

Expected Impact

This Technical Assistance will ensure progress is made towards adaptation and resilience to climate change because of the data collected and stored in data bases for the DCCMS and DWR to help the country plan and become more resilient to climate change impacts.

Seeking Experts

The UN Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) is inviting its Network members to assist Malawi. Interested Network members are invited to submit a form, ‘Expression of Interest(EoI)’. For those who are interested, please visit the UNGM Portal ( and click the blue button ‘Express Interest’ on your top right. All applicants should also be registered (free of charge) at United Nations Global Marketplace (

Please note that this request for expression of interest (EOI) is not an invitation for the submission of tenders. Its purpose is to identify companies that would be interested and eligible to participate in the solicitation when issued. Vendors that are deemed qualified upon completion of an objective evaluation of their EOI submission will receive the final tender solicitation documents.

In case you are not a CTCN network member yet, you may still apply (further details are found in the document) here.


Date of submission
Geographical scope

Project details

Cross-sectoral enabler
Innovation & RDD
Disaster risk reduction
Final type of assistance
Piloting and deployment of technologies in local conditions
Request NDE
National Commission for Science and Technology
Water in Sight AB
This technical assistance advances the following Sustainable Development Goals

Key documents