Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Burkina Faso


The project, "Strengthening Climate Information and EWS in Western and Central Africa: Burkina Faso", responds to priorities and actions identified in the NAPA of Burkina Faso 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 (EWS) along with projects associated with Food security, Energy, Water resources and Terrestrial ecosystems. The EWS project is not associated with any one particular sector and is expected to be relevant to multiple sectors, including the food/agriculture, water management, health and energy sectors.

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


Project details

This project is fully in line with LDCF/SCCF focal area objective 2: Increase adaptive capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change, including variability, at local, national, regional and global level, and objective 3: Promote transfer and adoption of adaptation technology. It is specifically aligned with outcomes linked to these objectives including increased knowledge and understanding of climate variability and change-induced risks at country level and in targeted vulnerable areas, strengthened adaptive capacity to reduce risks to climate-induced economic losses, successful demonstration, deployment, and transfer of relevant adaptation technology in targeted areas and enhanced enabling environment to support adaptation related technology transfer.

The project outcomes are closely aligned and coordinated with efforts already underway within Burkina Faso to promote development which is resilient to climate change at the national and local levels. The project is focused on strengthening the capacity of national and sub-national entities to monitor climate change, generate reliable hydro-meteorological information (including forecasts) and to be able to combine this information with other environmental and socio-economic data to improve evidence-based decision-making for early warning and adaptation responses as well as planning. The proposed project will be implemented at the country level by the lead Ministry mandated to advance climate monitoring including management of climate data in full collaboration with other relevant line Ministries who rely on the information for planning purposes (Disaster Management, Agriculture, Water, Finance and Planning etc). 

The fundamental problem in many countries such as Burkina Faso is that a complete EWS, which generates knowledge of the risks (vulnerability & hazard), has capacity to monitor, analyze and forecast hazards, provides communication and dissemination of alerts and warnings, either does not exist or does not function as well as it ought to be relevant and useful for long-term planning, management and risk reduction activities. Reasons for this situation involve a lack of both hard and soft technologies and the capacity to utilise those technologies in an appropriate manner. This results in: i) a limited understanding of current and future risks; ii) limited monitoring and forecasting of climate-related hazards; iii) inappropriate communication and packaging of warnings; iv) restricted responses to impending disasters and v) constrained planning for slow-onset changes due to climate change that will require a transformational shift in economic development and risk reduction efforts. The infrastructure and technology on which to build these services is lacking in Burkina Faso e.g. hydrological stations for monitoring water levels, as well as automatic weather stations for monitoring drought conditions in agricultural zones.

Without investing in the capacity to generate information, especially the monitoring and forecasting of climate-related hazards, the EWS will never function as optimally as it could. The aim of this proposal is to strengthen the EWS of Burkina Faso, largely through improving national capabilities to generate and use climate information in the planning for and management of climate induced hazard risks. It will achieve this by implementing the transfer of appropriate technology, infrastructure and skills.

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

To allow Burkina Faso 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 Burkina Faso Project Identification Form (May 21, 2012)
Thematic areas: 
Climate-related hazards addressed: 
Level of intervention: 
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: 
Government of Burkina Faso
African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Project status: 
Financing amount: 
4,000,000 (as of April 16, 2012)
Co-financing total: 
24,305,000 (as of April 16, 2012)

Key results and outputs

  • 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 approximately 40+ 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, including cost-effective technologies to interface with existing equipment/software.
  • 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, including coordination with systems and warnings developed by other initiatives
    • 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, including public and private financing options.

Source: UNDP Burkina Faso Project Identification Form (May 21, 2012)

Monitoring and 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 Burkina Faso Project Identification Form (May 21, 2012)


Mark Tadross
Regional Technical Advisor