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Meet our Experts: Abduwali Abdi

Abduwali is the NORCAP expert at ICPAC, based in Kenya. He works with capacity building and training on work package 4 and is also involved in communications in CONFER (work package 5).

Tell me a bit about your role at ICPAC/NORCAP.

My role is to strengthen, develop and support capacity development of NMHSs, policymakers and journalists in the IGAD region by underpinning technical and climate knowledge, as well as practical skills, to sustain production, co-production, execute the implementation of CONFER PEDR and capacity building plans. This is to ensure hands-on user engagement and improved uptake of climate science and services through training and capacity building under WP4. My role is also to identify any potential capacity development gaps among the NMHSs, and I work with ICPAC and CONFER partners to facilitate better coordination, knowledge transfer and bridge the gaps. I am a member of the ICPAC capacity building working group that supports capacity building at the ICPAC program level. Our team is composed of ClimSA, RICCAMA, Down2Earth and CONFER. We are now developing a synergy between the projects to avoid duplication and ensure long term sustainability.

Why are you excited about the CONFER project and what do you think it could achieve?

Coming from a disaster risk management background and having the opportunity to work in countries like Somalia and East Africa, the main challenge has always been dealing with disastrous impacts of climate and non-climate factors. This is mainly a result of poor climate services, coupled with a lack of capacity to reach out to those directly impacted ahead of time. I have always been at the forefront to strengthen local capacities in the provision and institutionalisation of climate services in the region, working to end the firefighting attitude whilst recognising the need for preparedness by utilising available services and products.

I am therefore excited to be part of the CONFER consortium, which has a lot to offer in knowledge and technology transfer and contribute to improved climate services in the region through supporting the great work of ICPAC that will ultimately empower NMHS to their fullest potential. Further, my understanding of the existing gaps in climate science and local knowledge makes me appreciate the diverse knowledge and expertise of the CONFER consortium. I am confident that it will bring a lot of positive change in terms of introducing new technologies at ICPAC and NMHSs in the region, who will continue to benefit from improved co-production skills, reliable and advanced products in seasonal forecasting and effective dissemination.

What is your specific role in CONFER?

As the NORCAP expert based at ICPAC, my specific role is to coordinate and support training and capacity development efforts during the CONFER project. I also support continuous training and capacity building (during and between the GHACOFs) on co-production and effective climate service delivery for NMHSs, supporting tasks in the WP4 and WP5, ensuring coordination between partners, and beneficiaries on aspects relating to capacity building and training, via a tailored capacity building training program based on CONFER’s capacity building plan.

Specifically, I work with BBC Media Action (subcontracted by NORCAP) to perform training and develop a Massive Open Online Course on ‘climate reporting’ for journalists at vernacular radio stations and national broadcast media, in line with ICPAC communication strategy.