The Country Hydromet Diagnostics responds to the need for a standardized, integrated and operational tool and approach for assessing National Meteorological Services, their operating environment, and their contribution to high-quality weather, climate, hydrological and environmental information services and warnings.
The Diagnostics is an umbrella tool that draws on and adds value to existing WMO assessment material by synthesizing existing approaches and data into an easily interpretable form, validating the information provided by WMO Members through a peer-review process, and obtaining missing information.
The Diagnostics aims at informing policy and investment decision-making, in particular guiding investments of the members of the Alliance for Hydromet Development.
The Diagnostics uses peer review as its overarching approach, following examples of other organizations, including the OCED process for the peer review of member’s development assistance. As peers, advanced National Meteorological and Hydrological Services from developed and developing countries will undertake the Diagnostics, strictly following the tool. This will enable coherent and standardized Diagnostics across countries.
The CHD provides a maturity assessment of the National Meteorological Services, their operating environment, and their contribution to high-quality hydromet services. The ten elements are grouped into four categories, helping to identify where additional focus and support may be needed:
In the first phase, a multi-stakeholder working group supported the development of the CHD, its methodology and approach. Alliance members then partnered with 16 countries to road-test the tool as either peer reviewers or reviewed countries: Afghanistan, Austria, Chad, China, Côte d’Ivoire, India, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Maldives, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, and Turkey.
The COVID-19 pandemic restricted travel, meaning that all peer-review assessments were conducted remotely. To conduct the assessment, peer-reviewers made use of the WMO’s Community Platform datasets which contain information suitable for assessing many of the element maturity levels for each NMHS. Reviewers also worked in collaboration with the country’s WMO Permanent Representative, respective country stakeholders, and Alliance members to obtain additional information necessary to complete the full assessment of each of the ten elements. CHD reports were then drafted by reviewers in consultation with the WMO Secretariat support team, whom also moderated the process, ensuring consistent application of the assessment tool across all countries.
Following completion of the assessments, feedback was collated from all participants to inform refinement and scaling-up of the tool in the next phase. The road-testing was completed in June 2021.
The second phase saw the tool being refined based on the lessons learned from phase one, again supported by a multi-partner working group. The updated CHD tool has since been offered to Alliance members that request the diagnostics for the initial stage of project development in a country.
In the third phase, the delivery of the CHD has been fully integrated into the SOFF as an “on-demand” step of the ‘readiness phase’, which all eligible countries requested so far.
Moving forward, assessments will be periodically updated for all SOFF supported countries to track progress in closing the capacity gap and inform future investment priorities.