Impact Indicator Development under the ISIpedia Project

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Two ISIpedia “Indicator Development Workshops” were held with the aim of facilitating exchange between climate-impact modellers and stakeholders in a first effort to identify and build relevant climate-impact indicators. The workshops were held in the two ISIpedia focus regions, Eastern Europe and West Africa, with the first workshop in Krakow, Poland bringing together 15 stakeholders and 4 impact modellers (from the ISIMIP community) and the second in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso gathering 41 stakeholders and 4 ISIMIP modellers.

While developing a set of useful (for stakeholders) and feasible (within the framework of ISIMIP) indicators proved to be a more ambitious task than anticipated, the two workshops had many incredibly valuable outcomes. This included capacity building for both stakeholders and modellers, in addition to a few interesting indicators and many seed ideas for further development of indicators. One of the key outcomes was stakeholder learning on what ISIpedia can offer and how impact models work: what do the outputs look like, what are the climate and socioeconomic input layers, the advantages of a harmonised protocol and the bounds and limits of global models. On the other hand, ISIMIP modellers learned a lot about what is useful and necessary in the policy and administrative sphere. For example, during a session on “vocabulary building” both groups realized and had to reconcile a mis-match of terms used. In one case, modellers defined “near-future” as the 2030-2040 whereas stakeholders defined “near-future” as the next 1-3 years or at most 10 years.

Indicators were developed across a multitude of ISIMIP sectors and on cross-sectoral topics. Suggestions of participants ranged from disaggregating existing indicators such as “energy supply,” which can be split to show the specific [impact on] potential of different renewable energies, to building new indicators, such as “changes to heating/cooling costs,” that resulted from the inclusion of information on energy efficiency and costs to the ISIMIP variable on the number of days where the heating/air-conditioning are needed. An example for a cross-sectoral indicator suggested by participants was the assessment of  “malaria risk per month” which would give an estimate of population at risk for malaria (based on factors that are suitable for the spread of the disease) in any given month under climate change scenarios.

Next on the ISIpedia calendar is the ISIMIP Cross-sectoral Workshop in Paris, June 4-7, where ISIMIP modellers from all sectors will come together to discuss recent work as well as planned studies in the next ISIMIP simulation phase, including how to include certain socioeconomic drivers in simulations, and how to translate the ISIMIP outputs into ISIpedia national assessments.

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JPI Climate Central Secretariat, Thursday 4 April 2019