UK Voluntary Cooperation Programme (VCP)

For over 50 years, the UK, via the Met Office, have contributed into the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Voluntary Co-operation Programme (VCP). As part of this we work in partnership with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of developing countries, to help sustainably develop their weather and climate services so that people can stay safe and thrive.

Learn more about our VCP work in our datasheet.

Our work under VCP includes a range of project areas, some of which are outlined below.

Weather observations

Records of the global climate are essential for monitoring climate change, but maintaining them requires effective weather observations to be taken all over the world. These observations also help to improve both local and global weather forecasts. The upper-air component in particular can be very expensive to maintain.  UK VCP has worked in partnership with developing countries for over 40 years to install, support and maintain a number of remote, but significant, weather observation sites, enhancing the provision and access to global observations and supporting the local NMHSs.

Forecast delivery 

Provision of model data and products, and training of meteorologists in their interpretation and use, is another important area in which UK VCP works in partnership with developing country NMHSs. 

Over a number of years we have provided support to the WMO Severe Weather Forecasting Project (SWFP), assisting countries to give advanced warnings of high-impact weather events. In addition, the annual Met Office/WMO Aviation seminar provides training in key aspects of meteorology and forecasting for aviation, to help support meteorologists in this specialised area. 

Model data is provided via channels such as websites and satellite. This includes the Met Office high resolution Tropical Africa 4km model, covering a wide region across eastern, western and central Africa. 


Climate data management 

Effective management of climate data (including using an appropriate Climate Data Management System) is essential for the provision of effective climate services to stakeholders both nationally, regionally and globally. UK VCP is working in partnership with NMHSs to support a sustainable, flexible and user-friendly Climate Data Management System, as well as training in climate data management activities. 

Media and communications

UK VCP works closely with developing country NMHSs to assist with the development of their media and communications capabilities, to deliver effective and timely weather forecasts to the public and key stakeholders. This helps NMHSs to fulfil one of their main Public Weather Service objectives: to protect the life and property of its citizens. Through UK VCP, more than 30 developing countries have been provided with the support and training to ensure ongoing TV weather presentation delivery. This includes the provision of a a hardware and software package, which enables users in NMHSs to create weather forecast broadcasts in widescreen High Definition format. We work with NMHSs on a rolling basis to upgrade TV studio installations to the latest specification. Advice and information for TV users is provided on our e-learning support website. 

Case Study - Enhancing media systems in Uganda


Human resource development

A variety of training is provided and supported by UK VCP, to help staff in developing country NMHSs develop the skills required to deliver effective climate and weather services. Along with the WMO, UK VCP sponsors fellowships each year to study for the MSc in Applied Meteorology and Climate with Management at the University of Reading. Over 200 students have also completed our facilitated, online management training course the ‘Essentials of Management’.

Case study - Capacity development through education and training