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Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Ethiopia

Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Ethiopia


The project, "Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Ethiopia to Support Climate Resilient Development", responds to priorities and actions identified in the NAPA of Ethiopia which articulate the need for securing, transferring and installing critical technologies, as well as developing the necessary systems for climate change-related information to permeate into decision-making processes. The technologies required to achieve these aims will increase the capacity of the national early warning network to forewarn and rapidly respond to extreme climate events. 

The NAPA clearly identifies a priority project on Early Warning Systems, as well as projects associated with Food security, Water resources and Terrestrial ecosystems. This proposal requests LDCF funds for the identified EWS project which is not associated with any one particular sector and is expected to be relevant to multiple sectors, including food/agriculture, water management, health and energy.

For updates on UNDP Early Warning Systems and Climate Resilient Development projects in Africa, visit the UNDP-EWS Africa Blog.


Project details

A lack of meteorological and hydrological monitoring stations in Ethiopia has meant that many important regions and populations vulnerable to climate hazards are not monitored e.g. drought conditions (rainfall) are not monitored for important agricultural lands, intense rainfall is not monitored in areas prone to landslides and flooding, and rapid rises in rivers as a precursor to flooding goes unnoticed. Therefore many potentially threatening hazards are not forewarned because of a lack of monitoring stations. Where stations exist they are often manually operated and do not report measurements for days to weeks after the climate hazards have passed. Equipment failure is also common and regular checks and maintenance often neglected due to insufficient funds, incentives and regulatory policies resulting in poor quality and unreliable data for making management decisions related to climate change induced disaster risks.

It is expected that as climate change unfolds the frequency and intensity of climate related shocks will change, improving Early Warning Systems (EWS) is one way to adapt to a changing climate. As an adaptive measure EWS also benefits the poorer segments of society, those who do not necessarily benefit from larger protective infrastructure projects. Furthermore, improving EWS also provides benefits for long term planning and aids other institutions in building capacity to service other needs (e.g. for land-use and agricultural planning, hydro-electric power, etc.)

To allow countries to better manage severe weather related disasters, food security and agricultural production, scarce and dwindling water resources and make their socioeconomic development process less vulnerable to climate-related risks it is essential to:

  • enhance the capacity of hydro-meteorological services and networks for predicting climatic events and associated risks;
  • develop a more effective, efficient and targeted delivery of climate information including early warnings;
  • support improved and timely preparedness and response to forecast climate-related risks and vulnerabilities.

These objectives require developing robust weather and climate observation, forecasting, and monitoring infrastructure, which can be rapidly deployed, is relatively easy to maintain, and simple to use. Such a weather and climate monitoring system can provide countries with the capacity to develop: (i) an early warning system for severe weather; (ii) real-time weather and hydrological monitoring; (iii) weather forecasting capabilities (Numerical Weather Prediction); (iv) agro-meteorological information and services (including integrated crop and pest management); (v) applications related to building and management of infrastructure; (vi) land, air and maritime transport management; (vii) integrated water resources management; (viii) coastal zone and land management; and (ix) planning and policy making processes.

Source: UNDP Ethiopia Project Identification Form (May 8, 2012)

Disaster Risk Reduction
Level of intervention
  • Community
Key collaborators
  • Country Office
  • Local Governments
  • National Governments
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
Primary beneficiaries:

Rural farmers and urban residents who will be given advanced warning in the case of extreme weather events and droughts which places an increasing number of livelihoods in danger.

Implementing agencies and partnering organizations
  • Ethiopia National Meteorological Agency, Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Project status
Financing amount
4,900,000 (As of May 18, 2012)
Co-financing total
20,750,000 (As of May 18, 2012)


Key results and output

  • Outcome 1: Enhanced capacity of national hydro-meteorological (NHMS) and environmental institutions to monitor extreme weather and climate change.
    • Output 1.1: Procurement and installation or rehabilitation (in case of existing) of approximately 10+ hydrological monitoring stations with telemetry, archiving and data processing facilities.
    • Output 1.2: Procurement and installation or rehabilitation of 20+ meteorological monitoring stations with telemetry, archiving and data processing facilities.
    • Output 1.3: Procurement and installation or rehabilitation of radar for monitoring severe weather.
    • Output 1.4: Procurement and installation or rehabilitation of upper air monitoring stations.
    • Output 1.5: Procurement and installation or rehabilitation of satellite monitoring equipment to receive real time climate and environmental information.  
    • Output 1.6: Training of at least 3-5 officers to maintain and repair equipment, computer infrastructure and telecommunications
  • Outcome 2: Efficient and effective use of hydro-meteorological and environmental information for making early warnings and long-term development plans. 
    • Output 2.1: NHMS capacity to make and use climate forecasts (on daily to seasonal, as well as medium- to long-term timescales) is strengthened by training at least 4 forecasters
    • Output 2.2: Tailored sector-specific early warning products that link climate, environmental and socio-economic information on a range of timescales are developed, based on identified user needs.                    
    • Output 2.3: National capacity for assimilating forecasts and monitoring into existing development planning, PRSPs and disaster management systems is built.                    
    • Output 2.4: Communication channels and procedures for issuing warnings (through both governmental and non-governmental agencies) are enabled (e.g. radio, newspapers, mobile phones, television etc.).                      
    • Output 2.5: Plan for sustainable financing for the operation and maintenance of the installed EWS developed and implemented.         
  • Outcome 3: All components of implemented EWS are able to function as an integrated system within and between countries
    • Output 3.1: Technical guidance and training delivered to all relevant country agencies on selection and identification of cost effective technologies, including climate monitoring equipment, tailoring of climate information and generation of technically robust warning messages.
    • Output 3.2: Key stakeholders trained on installation of new equipment, warning products and systems in coordination with other ongoing initiatives, including supporting and strengthening EWS related activities (equipment purchases, telecommunications, computer systems, decision support tools) implemented through other initiatives.

Source: UNDP Ethiopia Project Identification Form (May 8, 2012)

Programme meetings and workshops


Ethiopia Inception Workshop - 25 September 2012

The Ethiopia Inception Workshop was held on Tuesday 25th, September 2012. The Inception Workshop was very well attended by senior government officials and other important stakeholders. The Minister of Water (MoW), Mr. Kebede Gerba, made the opening address and gave the workshop a high level of political visibility and ownership. The press was present and interviewed the minister, UNDP CO representative and the director general of National Meteorological Agency (NMA).


Ethiopia Workshop - Addis Ababa, 5 March 2014

The Ethiopian Meteorology Agency launched the 4.5 million USD project, “Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Ethiopia for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change” on March 5th 2014. The project aims at enhancing the capacity of national hydro-meteorological and environmental institutions, monitoring extreme weather, and climate change and promoting efficient and effective use of hydro-meteorological environmental information ensuring early warning and long-term development plans. Present at the workshop were around 80 participants including the CSOs, UN agencies, and the relevant parties (NMA, Hydrology, DRMFS), as well as senior government officials such as Minister of Water, the Director of NMA, and the State Minister for Agriculture providing inaugural addresses.

Opening the workshop, Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu acknowledged that Hydrological hazards, particularly drought and flood remain the leading causes of disaster in Ethiopia. Alemayehu added that the reliable and up-to-date high quality information is an indispensable variable in building resilience for climate change. To strengthen the institutional capacity for monitoring climate characteristics, the Ethiopian Meteorology Agency will install the first operational weather radar in the coming months and also aspires to become world-class meteorological agency by 2022. Ethiopia's experience in the area of meteorological activities excels that of any other countries with such projects, said Benjamin Larrogarette, Regional Technical Advisor to UNDP and GEF. Ten more African countries are also reported to have launched the project. It is financed by the Least Developed Country Fund of the GEF.

More information to come...

Videos & multimedia

Monitoring & evaluation

Project Start:

  • Project Inception Workshop: will be held within the first 2 months of project start with those with assigned roles in the project organization structure, UNDP country office and where appropriate/feasible regional technical policy and programme advisors as well as other stakeholders.  The Inception Workshop is crucial to building ownership for the project results and to plan the first year annual work plan. 


  • Day to day monitoring of implementation progress: will be the responsibility of the Project Manager, based on the project's Annual Work Plan and its indicators, with overall guidance from the Project Director. The Project Team will inform the UNDP-CO of any delays or difficulties faced during implementation so that the appropriate support or corrective measures can be adopted in a timely and remedial fashion.


  • Project Progress Reports (PPR): quarterly reports will be assembled based on the information recorded and monitored in the UNDP Enhanced Results Based Management Platform. Risk analysis will be logged and regularly updated in ATLAS.


  • Annual Project Review/Project Implementation Reports (APR/PIR): This key report is prepared to monitor progress made since project start and in particular for the previous reporting period (30 June to 1 July).  The APR/PIR combines both UNDP and GEF reporting requirements.  

Periodic Monitoring through Site Visits:

  • UNDP CO and the UNDP RCU will conduct visits to project sites based on the agreed schedule in the project's Inception Report/Annual Work Plan to assess first hand project progress.  Other members of the Project Board may also join these visits.  A Field Visit Report/BTOR will be prepared by the CO and UNDP RCU and will be circulated no less than one month after the visit to the project team and Project Board members.

Mid-Term of Project Cycle:

  • Mid-Term Evaluation: will determine progress being made toward the achievement of outcomes and will identify course correction if needed.  It will focus on the effectiveness, efficiency and timeliness of project implementation; will highlight issues requiring decisions and actions; and will present initial lessons learned about project design, implementation and management.  Findings of this review will be incorporated as recommendations for enhanced implementation during the final half of the project's term.  

End of Project:  

  • Final Evaluation: will take place three months prior to the final Project Board meeting and will be undertaken in accordance with UNDP and GEF guidance.  The final evaluation will focus on the delivery of the project’s results as initially planned (and as corrected after the mid-term evaluation, if any such correction took place).  The final evaluation will look at impact and sustainability of results, including the contribution to capacity development and the achievement of global environmental benefits/goals.  The Terminal Evaluation should also provide recommendations for follow-up activities.
  • Project Terminal Report: This comprehensive report will summarize the results achieved (objectives, outcomes, outputs), lessons learned, problems met and areas where results may not have been achieved.  It will also lie out recommendations for any further steps that may need to be taken to ensure sustainability and replicability of the project’s results.

Learning and Knowledge Sharing:

  • Results from the project will be disseminated within and beyond the project intervention zone through existing information sharing networks and forums. 
  • The project will identify and participate, as relevant and appropriate, in scientific, policy-based and/or any other networks, which may be of benefit to project implementation though lessons learned. The project will identify, analyze, and share lessons learned that might be beneficial in the design and implementation of similar future projects.
  • Finally, there will be a two-way flow of information between this project and other projects of a similar focus. 

Source: UNDP Ethiopia Project Identification Form (May 8, 2012)