This study, conducted by the USAID-funded Climate Information Services Research Initiative (CISRI), is designed to contribute to the operationalization of Niger's National Framework for Climate Services, known as the Cadre National pour les Services Climatologiques, by filling knowledge gaps related to climate information services (CIS) end user needs. CISRI is a three-year research project with complementary components examining the current state of CIS and identifying intervention points to improve its functioning, with a focus on addressing the information needs of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. CISRI conducted a six-month research pilot in Niger from April-September 2017, and is now conducting a second pilot in Senegal, based on the experiences gained from the first round.
The objective of the CISRI research pilot in Niger was to develop and pilot a participatory systems mapping approach to improve the functioning of a CIS system so that it better meets the needs of smallholder farmer end users. Through the pilot, CISRI developed and tested a participatory systems mapping methodology within a CIS project aimed at improving farmers' livelihoods, agricultural productivity and food security.
This study aims to contribute to the design and implementation of more effective CIS projects and programs in Niger and throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and strives to increase investment in CIS in response to stronger evidence of its benefits. It is also expected that this study will encourage policymakers (government, humanitarian market) to increasingly use CIS to improve their programs and policies to secure and improve farmers' livelihoods in the face of climate variability and change.