Climate Information and Early Warning Systems Communications Toolkit

This toolkit provides National HydroMeteorological Services (NHMS), policy makers, and media and communications for development practitioners with the tools, resources and templates necessary to design and implement an integrated communications strategy.

These communications strategies include the effective issuance and packaging of early warnings as well as the creation of supportive communications products and outreach efforts that will support the long-term sustainability of investments in the climate information and services sector. While this communications toolkit is tailored to the specialized needs and political contexts of sub-Saharan Africa, it can easily be applied to other developing nations.

Communications is a cross-cutter and should be injected and leveraged at every stage of project implementation. Thoughtful and purposeful communication and advocacy can build in-house collaboration, foster knowledge sharing between nations, support technology transfer and build political support.

More importantly, through the issuance of early warnings and improved climate and weather information – and the development of appropriate public service announcements on what to do when bad weather hits ­­­– integrating communications into the everyday activities of NHMS can save lives, support sustainability and build livelihoods.

In this toolkit, we will define goals for the issuance of early warnings, and creation of improved climate information products and supportive communications strategies. These supportive strategies serve to engage actors, build political support, engage the private sector and present a true value proposition to end users.  The toolkit explores best practices, defines roles and expands on the tools that are necessary to create an integrated communications strategy. The toolkit continues with a step-by-step outline to create response protocols and issue early warnings, address challenges and opportunities, define messages and stakeholders, package early warning systems, and engage with individual media and other relevant actors. There is a communications strategy template and TORs template that can be used by projects and practitioners to generate integrated communications strategies.