International Consultant (firm) for Development of a Central Asia Regional Climate Information Platform

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin (CAMP4ASB)

Terms of Reference for International Consultant (firm) for

Development of a Central Asia Regional Climate Information Platform


1.       Background

The Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin (CAMP4ASB) aims to enhance regionally coordinated access to improved climate change knowledge services for key stakeholders (e.g., policy makers, communities, and civil society) in participating Central Asian countries as well as to increased investments and capacity building that, combined, will address climate challenges common to these countries.

This assignment is to be carried under the Component 1 of the CAMP4ASB project, “Regional Climate Knowledge Services”, and refers to the following sub-activities of the project: 1.1. “Strengthening the Information Platform for Central Asia”, 1.4. “Developing knowledge products” and 1.7. “Outreach and coalition building”[1].

2.       Objective:

The main objective of these Consulting Services is the development a Central Asia Regional Information Platform (“Information Platform” hereinafter) which will help stakeholders to access, analyze, and visualize public-domain data to support improved awareness, assessment, and decision support.

This is expected to make available comprehensive and up-to-date relevant data and information, linking with high-quality datasets (including time series and spatial information) from global, regional, and local sources, provide analytical tools and interfaces for the visualization and interpretation of data and information (e.g. mapping tools to layer data and map hotspots and areas at risk, screening tools, etc.).

The proposed platform is to be eventually managed by the Regional Coordination Unit, working in tandem with stakeholders in each participating country to improve awareness of the growing collection of high-quality, global public-domain datasets relevant for climate assessments, facilitate data acquisition and curation, as well as build capacity at national level on data management and analysis.

Please refer to Annex A for description of the Information Platform`s prospective elements


1.       Specific Tasks, Deliverables and Schedule:

Task 1: Develop a concept of the Central Asia Climate Information Platform

·         Identify key stakeholder institutions on global, regional and national level that can be part of an institutional ecosystem involved with the portal development, operation, maintenance, updating, and effective use and monitoring. Develop a meaningful stakeholder involvement process to support the development of the platform.

·         Identify a typology of decisions that can be supported by improved data and analytical platforms. In particular, focus on decisions related to climate resilience in the short and longer term in key development sectors. Develop sample visuals (e.g. maps, graphs) based on the types of data available.

·         Based on description of the Information Platform (please refer to the Annex A) identify key potentially public domain data and data services (both climate-related and data related to associated development sectors) available from global, regional, national, and other sources for high-quality data and online data services (e.g. using APIs or OGC map services). Compile associated metadata – including source, coverage, frequency of updating, accessibility, format, need for hosting, etc. Also explore available key online documentation (e.g. reports/videos) relevant to climate in the region.

·         Develop an early concept of the Information Platform based on the tasks above and the guidance in Annex A, that includes preliminary system design aspects related to the Platform architecture, tools and data services, functionality, information flow, look and feel, navigation. The concept should outline several scenarios that scope different levels of integration of data/information/services and their sources. The concept should also provide estimates for IT equipment or services needed for development of the Information Platform under each of the scenarios, as well as for IT services and human resources needed during operation of the platform;

Deliverables and indicative timeline: Concept of the Information Platform including preliminary system design aspects; within 5 months after signing the contract

Task 2: Collect stakeholder feedback and finalize the design of the Central Asia Climate Information Platform

·         Discuss the concept of the Information Platform with key regional and national stakeholders who can play a rule to contribute, analyze, disseminate, or use climate data services (including data on climate variability and change). Identify opportunities for data access and sharing (including in appropriate analysis-ready data formats and in real-time e.g. for hydromet stations) especially at regional and national level that would help further enhance the platform being developed. Identify alternative suggestions in case this sharing does not materialize in a timely manner for the Platform development.

·         Based on the collected feedback, develop a Platform design document (including for additional data/documents not currently online); Develop a prototype portal to help stakeholders visualize the type of Platform intended.

·         Present the draft Platform design to a wider set of representative stakeholder institutions as organized by the client (including government, academia, CSO, private sector, development partners, and other organizations) and solicit feedback;

·         Develop a roll-out and sustainability plan for the platform, including technical, institutional/governance, quality management, financial, and capacity-development aspects. Include optional scenarios and implications (e.g. on cost, effectiveness) for client consideration as necessary (e.g. for hosting, institutional arrangements, etc.).

·         Provide the client with any procurement or oversight support for any associated IT equipment or services as indicated by the client based on the inception report suggestions of the Consultant.

Deliverables and indicative timeline: final Platform Design document, within7 months after signing the contract

Task 3: Roll-out of the Central Asia Climate Information Platform

·         Develop a first version of the full Platform (accessible on all common digital platforms such as computers, tablets, smartphones) for stakeholder discussion at a Launch Workshop

·         Integrate appropriate feedback into refining Platform

·         Develop online training material (e.g. how-to videos, workbooks) to facilitate the use and updating of the Platform and undertake capacity-building to help targeted users (e.g. with regional and national level workshops, competitions such as Hackathons/Appathons to develop portals, mobile Apps, and interactive e-books based on Platform functionality and APIs).

·         Identify opportunities to enhance the Platform (including linking to associated decision support system development, crowdsourcing) and improve its effectiveness.

·         Deliverables and indicative timeline: Platform with description (incl. final metadata, sustainability/updating plan and options), Regional Workshop, Feedback/Action Proposed report, Training material within 12 months after signing the contract

2.       Qualification Requirements

·         Extensive experience in the development and design of knowledge management, facilitation of multistakeholder networks and information products and platforms in the area of natural resource management and climate change;

·         Good knowledge of free, public-domain data and analytical services related to climate

·         Technical knowledge of modern IT platforms (e.g. Open Geospatial Consortium Standards, GIS, remote sensing, Google Earth Engine code editor and API, spatial data infrastructure, interactive data visualization libraries such as https://d3js.org/, etc.).

·         Experience in developing data-driven communication strategies targeting policy makers, academia, practitioners, and other stakeholders;

·         Proven experience in modern interactive web design, javascript, CSS, App development, cloud computing, etc.

3.       Reporting Requirements

·         The Consultant should report to the RCU Coordinator.

·         The estimated duration of the consultancy will be September 2018 – September 2019


Annex A

Required Design Elements for the Central Asia Climate Information Platform


Central Asia Regional Information Platform will help stakeholders to access, analyze, and visualize public-domain data to support improved awareness, assessment, and decision support. This is expected to facilitate public-domain collection, sharing, and maintenance of datasets relevant for climate assessment and decision-making. This platform will build on existing systems to collate, analyze, disseminate, and use climate-change relevant data. The Platform (including supporting ICT hardware, software, connectivity, datasets, access to expertise, and training) will facilitate data computerization (e.g., data rescue exercises), collation of comprehensive spatial (e.g., GIS, remote sensing) and temporal datasets from global, regional, and local sources, including in real time (e.g., including from earth observation and hydromet systems, crowdsourcing information).

1.pngThe Platform will also offer interfaces and tools for data visualization, contextualization, and interpretation, such as GIS to layer data and map risks and hotspots, screening and modeling tools to support analysis for climate adaptation and mitigation. The Platform will make available comprehensive and up-to-date datasets, which could be shared and leveraged through public-domain access platforms and the creation of a range of knowledge products and services (such as a Central Asia Climate Change Atlas).

The proposed platform is to be eventually managed by the Regional Coordination Unit, working in tandem with stakeholders in each participating country to improve awareness of the growing collection of high-quality, global public-domain datasets relevant for climate assessments, facilitate data acquisition and curation, as well as build capacity at national level on data management and analysis.

Key design principles of the Information Platform

·         Sustainable, long-term provision of free, public-domain climate information and analytical services

·         Minimize total cost of O&M

·         Accessible on all digital platforms (computers, tablets, smartphones) with responsive design principles

·         Maximum utilization of:

o    existing and accessible climate change information, knowledge and expertise of relevance to managing climate aspects (related to adaptation and mitigation) in Central Asia

o    available institutional infrastructure for information delivery (information dissemination partners)

·         Facilitation of in-country, regional and international cooperation in climate change data, information and knowledge sharing and delivery.

o    As the Information Platform is not the only platform in Central Asia focused on climate change information, its defining principle is thus effective cooperation with other partners and initiatives and facilitation of effective information services delivery.

·         End user accessibility

o    Delivery of information in an open access “analysis-ready” format accessible by a range of information end-users who may not have access at present to available climate change information. Ability for major functionality to be available even with low-internet bandwith (e.g. using tiling, caching, etc.). Some support for off-line knowledge products.

o    Facilitate linkages to modern decision support systems and interfacing with emerging disruptive technologies (e.g. crowdsourcing, AI/machine learning, AR/VR visualization, etc.)

Main target groups:

Main target groups addressed by the Information Platform Information services include:

·         Government policy makers, ministries and agencies, responsible for hydrometeorological observations/services, and key relevant sectors such as water, agriculture, disaster prevention and response, natural resources management, etc.;

·         State and public research institutions and agencies, including national Academies of Science;

·         Academia, researchers, Training institutions, information dissemination centers, including

·         Public and private sectors – entities implementing and financing CC mitigation and adaptation projects, including:

o    Resource user associations and farmer associations (structure varies by country), individual farmers, shepherds - cooperatives, commercial farms, and smallholdings (for CC mitigation projects)

o    Commercial sector, including insurance companies (KAZ), design organizations, and banks

o    Civil Society Organizations

·         Local communities – provincial/district/village administrations and individual households, particularly those at risk for natural disasters, water user associations

·         Relevant regional organizations

·         International donors and expert community

Types of climate change information delivered by the Information Platform:

The platform will be designed to promote open data principles and enhance access to global, regional, and national good practices where possible. The basic functionality should allow users to be able to interactively and intuitively access, analyze, and visualize (through interactive maps, graphs, overlays, animations, data visualizations using appropriate libraries such as https://d3js.org/) relevant data (curated from remote sensing and in-situ monitoring and subsequent analysis), and share (as data and visual exports, links, embeds, APIs to allow other portals/mobile Apps to draw from the Platform) basic climate-related information

Information services provided by the Information Platform will include different information types, such as:

Type of data and information

Description

DATA and Analytical tools:

-          climate

-          hydrology

-          climate induced natural disasters

-          agriculture

-          energy & GHG emissions

Available sources and databases on climate data sets (temperature, precipitation); seasonal weather forecasts (for agricultural sector); long term climate projections, hydrological databases on river basins in Central Asia, climate induced natural disaster (maps, assessments finding, etc), spatially referenced information on agriculture production; soil maps, etc.

Tools and interfaces for the visualization and interpretation of data and information (e.g., mapping tools, to layer data and map hotspots and areas at risk, screening tools, etc.)

including:

o    Monitoring locations (e.g. for snow, climate, water levels, flows, water quality, water diversions, etc.) and associated metadata and data where available

o    Historical climate variability (e.g. gridded datasets of the world relating to temperature, precipitation, lake/reservoir levels, flows, etc.)

o    Forecasts (short-term to seasonal) for weather, snow-water equivalents, snowmelt, streamflows, etc.

o    Climate change information (from recent IPCC models) on temperature, precipitation, and any modeled implications on streamflow, evapotranspiration, glaciers, etc.

o    Relevant physical characteristics (e.g. land cover by type including glaciers/snow cover, cropland, irrigated areas; crops, soils; topography; drainage, basins/watersheds/major aquifers, DEM, administrative, basic infrastructure, protected areas, etc.) to provide a spatial context for the climate data.

o    Spatially-linked documents (e.g. reports, weblinks, online videos/photos documents on historical or climate change analyses, adaptation/migitation plans, NDCs, etc.)

Global data services such as the World Bank Spatial Agent App, World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal, WMO, NASA SERVIR, NOAA, G-REALM, ESA Copernicus, Dartmouth Flood Observatory, IRI, KNMI, IPCC, UNISDR, UN Data, ECMWF, GLOFAS, GEOGLOWS, Google Earth Engine, IPCC, UNFCCC,

Regional data bases and services: http://www.cawater-info.net, http://wuemoca.net/app/, https://kazhydromet.kz/ru, http://meteo.kg, http://www.meteo.uz, https://qcat.wocat.net/en/wocat/   

Publications and Knowledge products

Regularly updated library of selected publications; Analytical reports, webinars, climate atlases, posters, infographics, and other proceedings of climate projects and studies

Sustainable Land Management databases

Information on existing and new SLM practices and technologies applicable to CA countries

Regional climate news

News feed on climate related initiatives and events in the countries of Central Asia, as well as developments on international climate arena

Climate investments

Information on projects related to climate change adaptation and mitigation



[1] For more details about the project and description of all components and subcomponents please, refer to the CAMP4ASB Project Appraisal Document (PAD


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Interested candidates should send a Request for Expression of Interest no later than COB August 24, 2018 to Mr. Sanzhar Mustafin, email: smustafin@carececo.org with the title: IC for Information Platform development.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.