The Climate Charter – A Practical Guide Session 5: Understanding and integrating climate and environment risk data in humanitarian action

Commitment #4 of the Climate and Environment Charter encourages organisations to better understand climate and environmental risks to calibrate responses adequately. Meteorological data and local and indigenous knowledge about patterns of variability should be used to provide risk analyses that are comprehensive, reliable, and relevant. In many places where humanitarian organizations work, relevant data can be scarce or unreliable, and collaboration across the humanitarian sector and beyond to address existing and emergent data gaps is critical.

This webinar will provide insights on:   

  • How to gather and analyse data and translate them into programming
  • How to share data given that larger and smaller organisations have different capacity and access to it
  • The benefit of sharing data from metereological, agriculture, private sector and governmental sources to inform both humanitarian and developmental programmes.


Recommended resources

Commitment #4 of the Climate and Environment Charter (this link contains additional key resources, trainings and tools)

IFRC Anticipation Hub

  • A practical Guide to Seasonal Forecasts

    Short, practical guidance documents with advice on how to interpret and use seasonal forecasts, drawing upon lessons from ongoing research on using seasonal forecasts for early action, as well as from the practice of using seasonal forecasts in climate services projects.

  • Academic Alliance on Anticipatory Action

    The Academic Alliance on Anticipatory Action (4As, or “Straight As”) is working to build the evidence base on Anticipatory Action to identify the most effective ways to help the most vulnerable people before a crisis pushes them further into life-threatening situations through the design, data collection, analysis, and reporting of evaluation results of anticipatory action efforts.

CARE International

  • Supporting Flood Forecast-Based Action and Learning in Bangladesh (SUFAL)

    The SUFAL project focuses on integrating anticipatory action into Bangladesh’s national disaster-risk management framework by improving access to local impact-based forecasts and early warnings; identifying thresholds and setting triggers for early action; testing appropriate early actions for vulnerable communities; and generating evidence and lessons to influence policy, plans and financing for anticipatory action.

IFRC Climate Centre with Boston University

IMPACT Initiatives 

  • Climate Watch Thread

    Data on climate-related risks in vulnerable contexts to inform resilient sustainable development. Capitalizing on the increasing availability of information, IMPACT Initiatives supports both humanitarian and development agencies translate data to knowledge to : i) be better prepared before a crisis ii) respond in a climate and environmentally conscious manner iii) design long term solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation.

GNDR – Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction


World Metereological Organisation 

  • What the Weather Will Do 

    Impact-based early warnings - WMO Tropical Cyclone Programme

    Its main focus over recent years has been on improving impact-based multi-hazard early warning. To be effective, early warning systems need to actively involve the people and communities at risk, facilitate public education and awareness of risks, disseminate messages and warnings efficiently and ensure that there is a constant state of preparedness, and that early action is enabled. The WMO Tropical Cyclone Programme has facilitated research, coordination and communication to improve tropical cyclone forecasts and early warning systems.

  • State of Climate Services 2020 Report: Move from Early Warnings to Early Action

    One in three people are still not adequately covered by early warning systems, according to the 2020 State of Climate Services report

    The report, produced by 16 international agencies and financing institutions, identifies where and how governments can invest in effective early warning systems that strengthen countries’ resilience to multiple weather, climate and water-related hazards and provides successful examples.

DEEP (A collaborative project by ACAPS, IDMC, IFRC, JIPS, UNHCR,  UN OCHA, OHCHR and Okular-Analytics)

  • DEEP - Data Entry and Exploration Platform

    This is a web-based open-source platform offering a suite of collaborative tools tailored towards humanitarian crisis responses based on quantitative and qualitative data. Users can easily catalog information contained in large amounts of documents and export it to a variety of formats. 

Copernicus Climate Change Service 

  • EC Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) 

    It provides authoritative information about the past, present and future climate, as well as tools to enable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies by policy makers and businesses. It supports society by providing authoritative information about the past, present and future climate in Europe and the rest of the World 

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI)


Event polls

During the event, we also asked participants to share their views and advice on the discussed topic. You can find the final results of these below.



What would be your main recommendation for improving climate risk data use by humanitarian actors?

  • Training and accessibility
  • Community assessment
  • Include relevant and useful indicators in program and project monitoring plans
  • Agree on a common methodology for collecting, analyzing & presenting data
  • Having a better understanding of the analytical frameworks and what they can deliver
  • Real examples of good practice and frameworks for types of data
  • Coordinated data collection by actors and research institutions
  • Humanitarian actors must be ready to also contribute to climate data, so that the usefulness and and especially the correctness of data would be better appreciated
  • Attach action to address climate risk to funds!
  • Close collaboration with beneficiaries/ communities on site
  • 1. Raise awareness about this 2. Make relevant data available in different languages to ascertain accessibility 3.Ensure buy-in by major humanitarian actors 4. Make it mandatory?
  • Having a joint approach with actors from other sectors
  • Repository of climate risk data shared by humanitarian actors/organizations
  • Train and capacity build local residents to gather more information to boost the data collection
  • Raise awareness of its importance inside the organizations and hire designated staff
  • Having evidence-based humanitarian interventions based on the relevant climate risk data
  • Integrating climate risk data collection tools into humanitarian preparedness activities by providing centralized tools which can be adopted in local contexts
  • More sensitization on climate hazards (crisis) and the use of climate risk data into programs
  • Creating a specialisation programme for climate data in humanitarian action
  • Inclusion and working more with local community and administration
  • Must thoroughly examine the climate risk data and ensure that the local community understands the climate risk data. Localize this information and consider the indigenous knowledge of the community so that they can completely understand & trust us
  • Ensuring clean data from the early stages of project. Garbage in, Garbage out.
  • Apply a unified system for collecting data involving various humanitarian actors, governmental entity, etc.
  • Standardization across inputs so that risk management and data integration are more effortless
  • Define context monitoring indicators that can be incorporated into early warning and M&E processes and identify sources of reliable raw information. Advocate for donors to require inclusion of these data in project proposals and reporting.
  • Helping and supporting the local environmental NGOs in the region
  • Standardisation of (outputs/outcomes) measurements by all actors
  • Data collection and storing for risk monitoring, data technology accessibility
  • Create a space where climate scientists who know the platforms and how to interpret the data with the groups at the practical implementation level –I feel data is available but it is still too technical to be able to use effectively
  • Awareness of open source products, hire volunteers and young graduates with the knowledge
  • Monitor climate change and recognise changes in severity and frequency of disasters and changes in locations. Take Anticipatory Action and promote Preparedness
  • Must involve different sectors in making actions about it or interpreting it
  • Building the capacity of the local climate authorities to provide accurate and permanent update data that could be use by humanitarian actors
  • Pushing for gathering disaggregated data on the intersectional risks faced by vulnerable communities

Event recording (YouTube)

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Event recording (audio podcast)

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Vincenzo Bolletino Director of Program on Resilient Communities / National NGO Program on Humanitarian Leadership, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Casey Clark Deputy Country Coordinator - Programs, IMPACT Initiatives, Iraq
Hansjoerg Strohmeyer Policy Director, OCHA


Nishanie Jayamaha Learning, Program and Climate Change Coordinator, ICVA
Manisha Thomas Senior Policy Advisor, PHAP