Building peace in the minds of men and women

Enhancing Climate Services for Improved Water Management (CliMWaR)

CLIMWAR_cracked earth drought_434933854_Shutterstock.jpg

CLIMWAR_cracked earth drought © Chaisit Rattanachusri / Shutterstock
© Chaisit Rattanachusri / Shutterstock

Outreach & Capacity Building


Up-coming activities

Water Security and Climate Change Conference (WSCC2022)

Title: Just Add Water for Resilience: From Climate Risk Assessments to National Climate Policies

Theme: Translating knowledge into action

Date and Time: Thursday, 1 December; 4:50-6:05 p.m. Bangkok time (GMT+7)

Proposed mode of delivery: Online, with potential for hybrid with in-person speaker


How we diagnose climate risk plays an important role in how we address those risks. Many organizations are only beginning to integrate climate risk assessment into project development cycles, while national climate planning staff often struggle to integrate ministries and policies through issues such as climate finance, NDCs, and NAPs. In this session we will present a series of cases that show how emerging methodologies in climate risk assessment, reduction, and integration policies can accelerate the adoption of water resilience across programs, communities, and policies. We will present three examples at distinct levels of governance to highlight the utility of so-called bottom-up risk assessment for cities, ministries, and national decision makers.



Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), Deltares, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), UNESCO IHP

Kick-off meeting

The kick-off meeting of the CliMWaR project was held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on the 24th of October 2018. The overall goal of this meeting was to present the project to the stakeholders and partners, as well as to identify the activities that need to be organized for each of the four pillars of the project:

  • Support the development of climate services for flood and drought management, embedded in national and sub-regional contexts.
  • Provide capacity building to national and regional stakeholders to transfer the knowledge and technology for climate services.
  • Engage with high-level policy makers to identify opportunities to develop more proactive drought and flood risk management policies.
  • Empower the local communities with the actionable, timely and relevant information for climate informed decision-making using a participatory, citizen-science approach.

Moreover, this meeting aimed at strengthening interactions between partners and stakeholders to streamline the implementation phase. Therefore, the participants were divided into eight groups and discussed specific aspect of the work programme to propose concrete actions or changes to the foreseen list of activities. Based on these discussions, an updated implementation plan for the project was established.

Following the global launch of the CliMWaR project in Paris, a kick-off meeting was organized for Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss the proposed work plan and identify synergies with on-going activities in the region. This event was organized back-to-back with the launch event of the Latin American and Caribbean Drought Atlas.

The project showcases its products and outcomes during forums and water events at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, as well as in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. On a needs basis, specific outreach material and publications are prepared for particular stakeholders, which can take the form of policy briefs, technical publications or publications and outreach material (e.g. video) for the general public.

The CliMWaR project also contributed to the publication ‘Droughts in the Anthropocene’ that includes a new drought-monitoring tool together with 15 case studies from around the world showcasing the social, environmental and cultural impacts of droughts and water scarcity. This was presented at a side event of the 40th General Conference of UNESCO.



Capacity Building

To support the development of climate services in the different regions, as well as to allow a technology transfer to the member states, a set of trainings needs to be implemented in collaboration with regional partners and with support from co-funding agencies.

Training on Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA)

Launch of CRIDA manuals and online courses in French and Arabic at COP27

Launch of the CRIDA manual and online course in French and Arabic at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 (November 2022), together with the re-launching of the English and Spanish manuals and online courses. 


Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA): Training for professionals in water resources planning in Latin America and the Caribbean, March-July, 2022


The Climate Risk Based Decision Analysis (CRIDA) approach provides guidelines for assessing vulnerabilities in this area and offers guidance on developing adaptation pathways for sound water resources management. A regional CRIDA training was implemented for Latin America and the Caribbean on the different aspects of this methodology and to move towards the identification of possible case studies in this region for demonstration purposes. This training consisted of three different approaches: a free online course, four webinars and a special training on the methodology with a closure session of the training. 

The Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) approach provides guidelines for assessing water security vulnerabilities under climate variability and change. This methodology gives guidance on developing adaptation pathways for sound water resources management.

Recent progress in CRIDA implementation includes an online course organized in English in 2020, with a high number of participants, and the translation of the publication of the CRIDA manual (originally in English) into Spanish in January 2021.

Despite these efforts, more case studies are needed to demonstrate the versatility of the different approaches and tools with which CRIDA has been applied and adapt them to the regional context. This challenge has motivated UNESCO and DELTARES to organize a regional CRIDA training for Latin America and the Caribbean to train stakeholders on the different aspects of this methodology and to move towards the identification of possible case studies in the region for demonstration purposes. The whole training consisted of three components:

  • A short series of four webinars for a broad audience interested in the topic of uncertain climate risk management, e.g., government officials, practitioners and scientists (accessible online).
  • CRIDA online course (self-directed training) and in Spanish (subtitled) on UNESCO's learning platform*  
  • Methodology training with case studies; a practical training for up to 40 people pre-selected through an online application and organized by DELTARES.



An English version of the self-directed online course was also available between 1 March and 31 May, 2002.


Paulina M. Ramírez Quevedo (, Reinaldo Peñailillo Burgos (  

Based on the tools developed under the CRIDA framework, training workshops are held with pilot countries in the region to transfer the methodology and initiate pilot implementations of the CRIDA approach in collaboration with the trained stakeholders in their countries:

A collaborative workshop to address an uncertain future, Cape Town, South Africa, May 2019

The first workshop brought together local stakeholders from the region to initiate the case study focusing on the Cape Town Urban Water Supply, as well as to invite key people from countries in the SADC region to create a group of people trained in the CRIDA approach in the region, and to initiate CRIDA case studies.

Online CRIDA course, November 2020

An online course from UNESCO Open Learning introduces the learner to the CRIDA approach. The course is comprised of 12 modules of 1 hour each, which include readings, video lectures, knowledge checks and assignments. The video lectures include recorded presentations of scientists from global research and development organisations. The course ends in a capstone project where you - the learner - is asked to develop your own CRIDA Case Study for your own unique local condition, using all the knowledge and tools you have learned during the lectures.

Capacity building on the Drought Atlas for pilot African countries

In the week of 22-26 October 2018, a workshop was held involving the different subregions of Africa to train regional counterparts in the use of the Regional Frequency Analysis using L-Moments (RFA-LM) and to jointly develop their national drought atlases. Initial drought frequency maps and drought vulnerability analyses were produced for all country representatives present using remote sensing data.

The objective of this workshop was to contribute to improved climate risk management in pilot areas, with a specific focus on the development of the African Drought Atlas, through capacity building of key African representatives from regional centres.

Capacity building on midsummer drought monitoring and early warning

A workshop was organized in Antigua, Guatemala, in December 2018, to strengthen the capacities of the national hydro-meteorological agencies in Central America and the Caribbean, and of the participants in general, to strengthen the understanding of the mid-summer drought characteristics (e.g., onset, demise and duration), the physical mechanisms involved and of the potential for prediction of the Canícula using the Subseasonal-to-Seasonal modelling framework.

The workshop was organized in collaboration with the International Research Institute (IRI), the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).


Training on the Flood and Drought Monitor

To support the technology transfer of the Flood and Drought Monitor for pilot countries from Latin America, the Caribbean and the African Region, specific training is needed to ensure uptake of the developed tools, as well as to improve calibration in the pilot areas. These trainings are developed in collaboration with Princeton Climate Analytics and the University of Southampton.

Training for stakeholders on the Zimbabwe Flood and Drought Monitor - November 2019

Training for stakeholders on the Mozambique Flood and Drought Monitor - February 2020

Training on remote sensing for water resources management

Course on Remote Sensing for Water Resources Management, January 2019

Climate services are heavily reliant on remote sensing data and products, but also tools are needed for their processing to become relevant in a climate services framework. For this purpose, a course on Remote Sensing for Water Resources Management was organized for the African region in January 2019, following the experience of training courses held in Brazil in 2016 and 2017. The training was organized in collaboration the University of Western England (UWE) and the University of KwaZulu Natal, with support from the International Water Security Network (IWSN), ICIWaRM, VITO, the University of Southampton, Princeton University, and the University of Irvine in California.


Online Course on Programming for Geospatial Hydrological Applications 

The Programming for Geospatial Hydrological Applications course was available from 2 March until 30 April 2021. However, the course materials were still made available for the registered participants after that period, for reference purposes. Learners were introduced to essential skills for researchers dealing with (spatial) data, including scripting ysing command line tools and automating procedures with writing batch scripts. Furthermore, participants learned how to process data and make models using Phyton and its usedul libraries. A total of 3456 participants from 150 countries were part of the online course.


International Open Water Symposium, Latin America and the Caribbean, November 2021

In Latin America two regional trainings have been organized on the use of freely available remote sensing information for water resources management. A logical next step was to promote open-source tools for water management that can benefit from these remote sensing resources. A first edition of the International Open Water Symposium was successfully held in Rabat, Morocco, in October 2019. This 4-day training, dedicated to the African continent, aimed at raising awareness of existing tools for the management of water resources and improving capacity in using these tools to address water-related challenges. A follow-up event was planned for LAC in late 2019 but was postponed as a result of the restrictions caused by the COVID19 pandemic.

The second International Open Water Symposium was held virtually, in 22-26 November 2021, this time oriented to LAC countries. This symposium was designed to advance conceptual and practical training in open-source remote sensing applications, the use of IoT tools (TBC) and hydro-climatic modelling to support water resources management, as well as disaster risk reduction for water-related hazards (flood and droughts). The objective of this activity wa to train professionals, water resources managers and staff from governmental agencies and institutes from LAC participating countries in the current advances of these topics.

The activity was divided in two parts: an opening session with an introduction of the several topics and the presentation of high-end real-world applications of open-source software and tools for water management in LAC, followed by a four-day online training with three courses developed in parallel:

  1. Google Earth Engine for Wetland Monitoring: this course provided training on the subject of wetland management and/or monitoring through remote sensing products on the Google Earth Engine platform
  2. SWAT+: this course included setting up SWAT+ modelling tools; setting up a QSWAT project; delineate and create HRUs; add climate data and run the model in SWAT+ editor; setup a SWAT+ toolbox project; perform a sensitivity analysis, manual calibration and automatic calibration
  3. Spatial Data Infrastructure: which provided a general overview of what a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) implies, from its definitions and characteristics to the basic installation.