Fostering a community of practice around drought information tools

President's Global Innovation Fund
Columbia Global Centers | Latin America (Santiago)
Additional locations: 
Columbia Global Centers | Africa, Columbia Global Centers | Middle East

The proposal seeks funding for the development of a Drought Information Community of Practice (DICoP). This community of practice would bring together researchers and practitioners working to improve the development and delivery of drought information for societal decision making in Chile, Kenya, and Jordan, creating opportunities for shared learning and the identification of new research opportunities. As a means to advance research and facilitate knowledge sharing, the DICoP will engage in four specific activities: the convening of annual meetings, face-to-face training sessions, the creation of online resources, and the development of joint research proposals.

The DICoP will achieve this by leveraging resources and expertise from existing networks, including UNESCO’s program for Water and Development Information for Arid Lands – a Global Network, the Climate Services Partnership, and the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.  In doing so, the DICoP will help to develop national and regional partnerships, build cooperative partnerships, and create opportunities for students, both at Columbia University and abroad, to be trained in the use and development of such tools for improved decision making. Students will also be exposed to cutting edge research on this topic and engage with researchers working on drought related issues around the world.

While PGIF project funding will support DICoP activities over three years, the network is expected to be able to maintain collaborative research and networking activities even after the project has ended. This will be facilitated through online forums developed as part of the project; members will also continue to collaborate on joint research projects developed under the auspices of the DICoP. Community of practice member will also have opportunities to funnel knowledge and expertise gained as part of the project into other networks, including CCAFS, CSP, and GZWADI, already connected to the project. In this way, the knowledge and lessons generated as part of the DICoP will be multiplied throughout the wider community.