On February 18, 2016, USAID's Adaptation Community Meeting held a discussion on the economic impact of seasonal drought forecast information in Jamaica with speakers James Buizer and Tauhidur Rahman.
Starting in 2014, Jamaica has experienced one of the worst droughts in a decade and the fourth worst recorded since the 1970s. In response to this drought, the Jamaican Meteorological Service (JMS), in collaboration with the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), with support from the Climate Change Resilient Development project funded by USAID, produced and provided new seasonal drought-related forecast information to hundreds of farmers during June 2014-June 2015. The farmers received the information through farmer forums, phone text messages, extension agents, and by contacting the JMS. While anecdotal stories suggest that the losses in agricultural production may have been much greater if not for the provision of the information service, they do not constitute robust evidence of actual economic benefits realized. In order to provide more scientifically robust evidence, a team from the University of Arizona followed up the launch of the information service with a valuation study. In this talk, we report the major findings of our recently conducted economic impact evaluation, and discuss the lessons for the future programming of such climate forecast information services.
This event was organized by the USAID Climate Change Adaptation, Thought Leadership, and Assessments (ATLAS) project. All Adaptation Community Meeting webinars can be found here.