Executive report of the FANFAR workshop 1
The FANFAR project (reinForced cooperAtion to provide operatioNal Flood forecasting and Alerts in West AfRica), funded by the European Commission (2018-2020), aims to foster reinforced co-operation between key West African and European organisations. The project focuses on devel-oping a system according to West African user needs and priorities, identified through a set of workshops. The first workshop took place at the AGRHYMET Regional Center (2018.09.17–20), in Niamey, Niger. Representatives from hydrological agencies and emergency management agen-cies on the regional and national level from 17 countries in West Africa contributed substantially to achieve the project goals. In this workshop, the main objective was to co-design the flood forecast-ing and alert system in West Africa by: 1) clarifying user objectives, needs, and preferences, 2) receiving feedback on the currently available FANFAR forecast and alert system prototypes, and 3) on acknowledging which stakeholders should be involved. Therefore, several activities were performed. To identify which objectives are important for the participants for developing a flood forecasting and alert system; several exercises were performed and allowed us to prioritize the following objectives by order of preference: High accuracy of data and information outputs, Timely dissemination of flood alerts, High Reliability, Clear definition of alert thresholds, and Reliable ac-cess to data & information outputs. The activities performed to understand the matching between expectations and the current development status of the FANFAR prototype systems for the flood forecast production (Hydrology-TEP) and visualization portal, allowed to focus on identifying pos-sible system options (how the system should be configured to meet the objectives) through key questions or drivers: 1) the easiest-to-use system, 2) the most attractive system for West-Africa, and 3) the most robust system; i.e. that works in all West Africa. To conclude, an exercise was developed to identify key stakeholders to be involved in the continued development process of the system. A social science framework was used to identify stakeholders that would desire to continue their involvement in co-design activities and those that may be interested in participating in future co-design activities. The results obtained are very promising and allow us to look forward to con-tinuing the co-design process and improve the FANFAR system in the next workshops.