Saving Lives and Protecting Agriculture based Livelihoods in Malawi: Scaling Up the Use of Modernized Climate Information and Early Warning Systems

Lead country


Participating countries


Project status

Under implementation

Implementing period

From August 8, 2017 to March 28, 2024

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 1.5 Build resilience of poor to climate, shocks
  2. 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards
  3. 13.3 Improve learning, capacity on climate change measures

Project ID: 5710

*The boundaries shown and the designations used on the above map and included in lists, tables and documents on this website do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations or UNDP | References to Kosovo* shall be understood to be in the context of UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).

Technical team

  • Climate Change Adaptation Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Mainstreaming integrated policy and planning for climate-resilient & sustainable development
  • Climate information and early warning systems (CI & EWS)



Transformed sector(s)


UNDP role(s)

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Innovative approaches
  • Risk analysis


  • Capacity building
  • Monitor inventory


  • Technical capacity building
  • Awareness raising
  • Knowledge/Data management

Social inclusion


Gender equality

  • Livelihoods for women
  • Women farmers

Gender result effectiveness scale



  • Systems pathway
  • Sci-tech pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Improve resilience

SDG target(s)

  • 1.5 Build resilience of poor to climate, shocks
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards
  • 13.3 Improve learning, capacity on climate change measures

Conventions and protocols

  • National Adaptation Plan (NAP)

Private sector(s)


Hot topic

  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy

About this project


The project will support Government of Malawi (GoM) to take steps to save lives and enhance livelihoods at risk from climate-related disasters. Malawi is chronically vulnerable to climate-related hazards, including flooding, drought and extreme weather events, and is already experiencing the impacts of a changing climate. As a result, the country urgently needs to strengthen its national architecture for generating science-based climate information to improve its early warning system (EWS). The project will address technical, financial, capacity, and access barriers related to weather and climate information (CI) by enhancing national and sub-national hydro-meteorological capacities for early warning and forecasting, by developing and disseminating tailored climate information products targeting smallholder farmers (women and men) as well as fisher folk, and by strengthening the capacity of communities to respond to climate-related disasters. The objective of the project is to reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts on the lives and livelihoods of women and men, boys and girls, from extreme weather events and climate change. The initiative is aimed at achieving the following outputs:a) Intensifying coverage of the hydrological and meteorological (hydromet) observational systems and capacities to generate timely, reliable, and geographically relevant early warning and weather forecasting information to inform responses and manage climate impacts. This enhanced data coverage will assist in the production of climate vulnerability and risk assessment information that will inform the formulation and implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).b) Enhancing capacities to package, diffuse, and apply climate and weather information to improve disaster response and adaptive planning and to implement risk transfer mechanisms among public and private sector actors as well as communities.c) Mainstreaming and implementing climate risk management across national, sub-national, and local levels to ensure preparedness and urgent response to climate-related disasters.The primary measurable benefits include approximately 1.4M direct and 0.7M indirect beneficiaries (12% of the total population) who will gain access to critical weather and early warning information.The project is aligned with the development priorities of the Government of Malawi (GoM) as outlined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDSII) and the National Resilience Plan, and was designed following extensive stakeholder consultations. It advances a paradigm shift for Malawi in the use of early warning and climate information to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities. By facilitating a demand-based model for climate information and use of mobile platforms, the project will promote private sector participation and market development through targeted monetization of climate data. It will yield sustainable development benefits by saving lives (18 lives per year) and assets (average USD 5M/year) and enhancing agricultural productivity (annual benefit USD 3.8M), safety and well-being, soil and water quality, and livelihoods of women (about 160,000).


Paradigm shift objectives: The proposed project contributes to climate-resilient development pathways in Malawi through the sustained impact of project measures that have high potential for replicability and scale. Overall, these impacts can be scaled to reach 100% of national coverage for observational networks benefiting about 2 million of the country"s farmers (about 10 times initial reach) and twice as many flood-prone communities with automated CBEWS. The project stimulates a demand-based model for climate information and use of ICT/mobile platforms to enable public and private sector participation, innovation, and market development. It contributes to key policies in the country and supports co-financed efforts to mainstream climate information into development plans. It institutionalizes knowledge generation and learning through the enhancements to the DCICs and strengthens country capacities to sustain project impacts.

USD $12,294,545

Grant amount

USD $3,970,000

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Green Climate Fund Common ($12,294,545)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Department of Disaster Management Affairs

Project metrics

Related resources

Geospatial information

Discover relevant spatial data related to this project/country/region, powered by UN BiodiversityLab

Project reports and documentation