ASPIRE (Adaptive Social Protection - Information for Enhanced REsilience)
The ASPIRE (Adaptive Social Protection - Information for Enhanced REsilience) project was designed to identify how climate information could inform social protection.
We have been working in the Sahel to facilitate dialogue between social protection and climate stakeholders. Some of the key lessons from this have been that:
• there is limited understanding of Adaptive Social Protection and climate by social protection stakeholders and vice versa;
• as many social protection programmes in the Sahel are in their early stages, it has been challenging to identify clear entry points for climate information to inform social protection directly as many programmes may not yet be in a position to scale up based on forecast information;
• there is also limited understanding of the impacts of weather (e.g. on livelihoods, food security etc.), which is key when taking decisions on how to scale up social protection mechanisms; and
• seasonal forecasts are likely to be most relevant to informing Adaptive Social Protection.
As seasonal scale information seems to have the best potential for informing social protection, we have been conducting research looking at how skilful seasonal forecasts are in the Sahel. Whilst the research shows PRESASS forecasts have quite good reliability, it also indicates that a more consistent and objective approach to generating the outlooks could improve them.
The activities for the final year of ASPIRE (2019) were therefore to:
Enhance seasonal forecasting - regional level
• Conduct joint research with ACMAD/AGHRYMET to identify which models have best skill where in the Sahel for rainfall and temperature.
• Identify how methodology for producing regional and national climate outlook forums can be made more objective.
• Identify how seasonal forecasts can be better visualised and communicated to be easier to understand and more useable.
Enhance seasonal forecasting – national level (Senegal/Niger/Mali)
• Work with National Meteorological Services (NMSs) to digitise national seasonal outlooks (10 years+).
• Conduct joint research with NMSs in Senegal, Niger and Burkina Faso/Mali to assess reliability of forecasts issued to date.
Social protection stakeholder training
• Conduct face-to-face and remote training for social protection stakeholders on climate information and interpretation of seasonal outlooks and build understanding of how they can use/integrate climate (monitoring and forecast) data with other data they have to inform social protection decision making.
Explore how forecast information can support resilience mechanisms in the Sahel (joint activity with Red Cross Climate Centre)
• Facilitate round table to identify what food security related actions can be brought forward with forecasts and the gaps science needs to fill to achieve this.
• Identify gaps in science and where climate programmes can fill these so that investments in science support action.
• Identify opportunities for data integration to support enhanced understanding of impacts.
The ASPIRE project was delivered by the Met Office, Walker Institute and Norwegian Refugee Council and ran until March 2020.
ASPIRE linked closely with the following organisations, programmes and initiatives in the region and more widely:
Regional Agency for Food and Agriculture
WISER forecast based early action project
National meteorological services in each focus country and national government departments involved in delivering social protection programmes (e.g. agriculture or food security and nutrition).
Key project documentation
A series of seasonal forecast explainer videos have been developed:
View the whole video series by following the links below:
Seasonal Forecasts Explained: Introduction - shown above
Seasonal Forecasts Explained Part 1: The underpinning science
Seasonal Forecasts Explained Part 2: Seasonal forecasts production
Seasonal Forecasts Explained Part 3: Interpreting seasonal forecast output
Seasonal Forecasts Explained Part 4: Forecast delivery and services
A transcript of all the videos can be found here.
ASPIRE: reflections and observations blog - January 2022
ASPIRE Project Summary - December 2021
ASPIRE Project Infographic - December 2021
Integrating seasonal climate forecasts into adaptive social protection in the Sahel - November 2020
Paper - Assessing the skill and reliability of seasonal climate forecasts in Sahelian West Africa - May 2020
Safety begins with dialogue - March 2020
ASPIRE project summary - March 2020
Taking an objective view - December 2019
Latest news from ASPIRE - November 2019
July August September (JAS) 2019 forecasts West Africa - July 2019
ASPIRE lessons and activities - December 2018
ASPIRE presentation April 2018
Digitisation of PRESASS/PRESAO seasonal forecasts:QGIS v2.18.12 - Training module
Digitisation of PRESASS/PRESAO seasonal forecasts:QGIS v3.4 - Training module
July August September (JAS) 2019 forecasts West Africa
Assessment of the relationship between seasonal meteorological variables and crop parameters in Senegal
A practical guide to seasonal forecasts - developed in partnership
The ASPIRE project can be contacted at [email protected]
You may also be interested in the following websites:
African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC)
Building Resilience & Adaptation to Climate Extremes & Disaster (BRACED)
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)