Communicating complex forecasts: an analysis of the approach in Nepal’s flood early warning system
Early warning systems have the potential to save lives and improve resilience. However, barriers and challenges remain in disseminating and communicating early warning information to institutional decision-makers, community members and individuals at risk, including unequal access, insufficient understanding, and inability to act on warning information. Research was undertaken to analyse and understand the current flood early warning system in Nepal, considering available data and forecasts, information flows, early warning dissemination, and decision-making for early action. Data were collected from key informant interviews, community-level questionnaires, and a national stakeholder workshop and qualitatively analysed. The availability and utilisation of simple and complex flood forecasts in Nepal, and their integration into dissemination, and decision support tools were reviewed, considering their impact on improving early action to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities to flooding. Results suggest that as Nepal continues to advance in hydro-meteorological forecasting capabilities, efforts are simultaneously needed to ensure these forecasts are more effectively communicated and disseminated.