Data-Pop Alliance, Agence française de développement (AFD), and the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) are co-organizing a COP21 side event, Climate Change Resilience in the Age of Data: Opportunities, Challenges, and Requirements on December 4th, from 08:30 to 19:30 at AFD Headquarters in Paris.
— A COP21 Side Event —
Friday, 4 December 2015 | 08:30 – 19:30
As natural hazards heightened by climate change create unprecedented threats to human lives and livelihoods, new data sources and technologies offer opportunities to enhance the resilience of developing communities and countries. One priority involves better predicting and monitoring slow and sudden onset processes so as to lower their toll whenever possible; another aspect is helping vulnerable countries and communities ‘bounce back’ after a shock. However the overarching objective must be to strengthen communities’ capacities as complex human ecosystems to adapt and ‘maintain function’ in the face of a wide range of natural risks and stressors. Doing so implies upgrading current conceptual and operational frameworks by blending different academic disciplines—from the social, climate and computer sciences—and fields and communities of practice—ranging from humanitarian assistance to capacity-development.
With this in mind, this event, organized by Data-Pop Alliance of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), MIT Media Lab, and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in partnership with (and hosted by) AFD, and DfID, will bring together researchers and practitioners to explore the opportunities, challenges and requirements for leveraging new data sources and analytical approaches to achieve these goals—chief of which is empowering at-risk communities. Specifically, the event will seek to take stock of relevant scientific advances, showcase promising initiatives and approaches in the domain, identify major institutional and technical bottlenecks and requirements, and foster exchanges between the critical players producing the science, financing the projects, and implementing the work on the ground.
The format—a 1-day workshop with a morning session dedicated to thematic presentations and discussions followed by a hands-on technical session in the afternoon—is meant to ensure a balance between conceptual and practical considerations and the active engagement of participants. The morning session will be structured around three panels and a moderated group discussion to create a deeper understanding of needs and perspectives between data scientists, development managers, academics in the climate change field, the practitioners on the ground, and private companies. In the afternoon, participants will be given the opportunity to analyze vulnerability to flooding in Senegal with actual data and tools as part of a ‘Data Expedition’, working in multidisciplinary teams led by facilitators, to raise awareness and share perspectives about their potential, limitations and implications.
The event will be held during COP21, with eyes and minds focused on ways to deal with climate change, in the broader context of the post-2015 SDG agenda and the Data Revolution, with some of the key actors in the space. It will also draw on two reports produced by Data-Pop Alliance on Big Data and Climate Change Resilience, one funded by DfID as an input to the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul in May 2016, and one commissioned by the World Bank as an input to the 2016 World Development Report on “Digital Dividends”. Other contributions to the workshop will include recent case studies funded by DfID notably and other ongoing or planned projects and pilots.
By the end of the day, it is expected that participants will have raised and addressed to the largest possible extent some of the following key questions:
- What is the scientifically defensible potential of leveraging data for climate change resilience?
- What have been and may be ways to test what works, and relevant success metrics?
- What are the main barriers—technical, institutional, political, cognitive, etc.—to empowering communities to enhance their own resilience to climate change in the age of data?
- What institutional capacities and arrangements are required to bring successful approaches to scale, including for the collection, sharing and analysis of personal data?
- Where, when and by whom could priority investments be undertaken?
08:30—09:00 Registration and breakfast
09:00—09:30 Opening and framing
—Welcome and introduction(s) by Gaël Giraud, Chief Economist and Executive Director, AFD
—Findings and lessons from the DfID and World Bank-funded reports by Emmanuel Letouzé, Director and Co-Founder, Data-Pop Alliance
09:30—10:30 Panel 1: The science of data analytics for climate resilience
—Presentation of DfiD-supported case studies by Erik Wetter (Flowminder Foundation): “Analysis of cyclone Mahasen in Bangladesh using cell-phone data” and Serge Guillas (UCL): “Assessing tsunami risk using satellite surface wave and GPS data” (video)
—Panel discussion with Marc Levy (Columbia University), Rebecca Moore (Google), Alain Retière (EverImpact), Samuel Rufat (Université Cergy-Pontoise), and Erik Wetter (Flowminder Foundation); moderated by Claire-Marie Foulquier-Gazagnes (Etalab, French Prime Minister’s Office)
10:30—10:45 Coffee break
10:45—11:45 Panel 2: Communities and citizens as sensors and responders in humanitarian contexts
—Presentation of DfiD-supported case study by Silke Roth (University of Southampton, with Markus Luczak-Roesch): “Inclusiveness and crowdsouced disaster response”
—Panel discussion and Q&As with Julie Cissé (GIPS/WAR), John Crowley (UN Global Pulse), Mariéme Jamme (Africa Gathering), Silke Roth (U. Southampton), Simone Sala (Dr. Steve Chan Center for Sensemaking and Data-Pop Alliance), and Patrick Vinck (Harvard University and Data-Pop Alliance); moderated by Thomas Roca (AFD)
11:45—12:45 Panel 3: The economics and politics of data for resilience
—Presentation of Data for Climate Action project by Nicolas de Cordes (Orange) and John Crowley (UN Global Pulse)
—Panel discussion and Q&As with Mathilde Bouyé (World Resources Institute), Nicolas de Cordes (Orange), Kenneth Chomitz (Forest Trends), David Jestaz (EDF), and Amy Luers (Executive Office of the U.S. President); moderated by Sebastian Mhatre (DfID)
13:00—14:00 Light lunch, with a presentation by Craig Hanson (World Resources Institute), and David Chavalarias (Institut des Systèmes Complexes de Paris-Île de France)
14:00—16:15 Technical session: What does an actionable climate data tool and visualization look like and add?
—Presentation of Google Geo for Good, Rebecca Moore, Head of Google Earth Outreach and Earth Engine
— Presentation of Google-Earth Engine-, World Bank- and AFD-supported model and platform, by Bessie Schwarz (Yale University and Data-Pop Alliance), and Beth Tellman (Arizona State U. and Data-Pop Alliance)
—Hands-on training and collaborative working session: Building a socio-physical vulnerability index for Senegal, followed by take-away discussion, led by Bessie Schwarz and Beth Tellman
16:15—16:30 Coffee break
16:30—17:30 Summary session and action items
—Summary of the day by Marc Levy (Columbia University)
—How can we build from here? What would be 3-4 key actions? Discussion moderated by Patrick Vinck (Harvard University and Data-Pop Alliance)
17:30—17:45 Closing remarks: Leveraging data for climate negotiations and resilience
—Emmanuel Letouzé (Director and Co-Founder, Data-Pop Alliance)
18:00—19:30 Informal reception with Data bites featuring the 12 winners of France’s & Mexico’s Climate Change Challenges introduced by Romain Tales, Policy Officer, Etalab, French Prime Minister’s Office, and Ania Calderón, General Director of Open Data in the Office of the President of Mexico
Registration by invitation only. For inquiries, please contact Data-Pop Alliance’s Program Manager, Natalie Shoup, at firstname.lastname@example.org.