Zambia - Technical Advisory Mission

UN-SPIDER and its team of experts carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Zambia from 26 to 30 May 2014. The TAM was conducted upon invitation of the Office of the Vice-President, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).

Main Hazards: 


Mon, 26/05/2014 to Fri, 30/05/2014

Mission Profile: 

The team met with about 15 key stakeholder agencies in the country including the Survey Department, the Meteorological Service or the National Remote Sensing Centre. The experts took stock of issues such as policy gaps, availability of satellite data and geospatial information for all relevant institutions, the current use of in the country, and data sharing practice. The team also looked at challenges and constraints, existing capacity and further training needs, established institutional linkages and ways to strengthen disaster risk reduction and emergency response at the country level.

As a first follow up of the TAM, information was shared on data collection and very high resolution data acquisition options, seeing the high interest of the host institutions to work immediately on the implementation of the agreed recommendations. Meetings were also extended to various UN agencies with disaster-management responsibilities locally, and presentations on best practices were made at a workshop at the end of the mission.

A one-day workshop introduced participants to the potential of space-based technologies for disaster management and to best practices, and looked at options to improve their usage in Zambia.

Mission Findings: 

Zambia is in many ways advanced in its use of technology and its ability to use geospatial data. Its main needs are to set up a national spatial data infrastructure, to expand data-sharing, and to obtain access to regular Earth observations and high-resolution data from public and commercial sources.

Mission Recommendations: 

  • To collect additional remote sensing data and analysis for early warning;
  • To collect weather information in real time and to set up a denser network of weather stations to provide more accurate and timely information about the local situation;
  • To compile climate change resiliency information and related plans;  
  • To set up flood plain and risk mapping and an early warning system for floods; (e) To develop flash flood modelling and prediction capabilities;
  • To build capacity for remote sensing and the geographic information system and raise awareness, making optimal use of low-cost approaches and free data sources, applications, technologies and services;
  • To set up a fire warning system, recruit more fire watch staff and acquire more fire watch facilities and modelling tools;
  • To collect specific upper atmospheric data and models;
  • To develop a national high resolution digital elevation model;
  • To promote access to radar imagery and develop related processing capability.


Malawi - Expert Mission

Within the project “Providing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technical support for Disaster Risk Reduction programs implemented by DIPECHO partners in the South East African and South West Indian Ocean region”, UN-SPIDER, together with the Italian-based NGO Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) and the Geoinformatic Centre from the University of Salzburg (Z-GIS) carried out a mission to Lilongwe, Malawi in Nov. 2010 to conduct a national seminar.


Sat, 13/11/2010 to Sun, 21/11/2010

Host Institution: 


Mission Expert: 

Jörg Szarzynski, UN-SPIDER

Mission Profile: 

The mission included a national seminar that provided a general overview regarding , UN-SPIDER’s role and existing international mechanisms such as the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters. The national seminar focused on practical application of GIS and EO tools to address disaster preparedness and response planning. It brought together representatives from government institutions (the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, the Technical Secretariat for the Ministry of Agriculture, the Geological Survey Department, the Meteorological Department, and the National Statistic Office); as well as representatives from the European Union, WFP, UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank, GTZ; and eight NGO’s (COOPI, GOAL, ChristianAid, EAM, MALEZA, OXFAM, Concern Worldwide, and MSH).

Mission Outcome: 

The mission allowed UN-SPIDER to become aware of the technical capacity available in Madagascar and the Comores Island in the areas of disaster-risk management and emergency response. Representatives of these ministries, institutions and NGOs were made aware of the UN-SPIDER programme and its activities, of potential areas where space-based technology and information could play a greater role and on the type of support that the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters can provide.

The seminar also allowed participants to discuss ways to improve communications among agencies and NGOs, to coordinate and disseminate for disaster risk management and emergency response in Malawi and about what kind of data, technology and training is needed.

Kenya - Expert Mission

Kenya, like other countries in eastern Africa, is exposed to a variety of hazards including droughts, floods, landslides and earthquakes. The December 1999 drought affected 23 million inhabitants. From 21 to 23 October 2009, UN-SPIDER conducted an Expert Mission to Kenya to establish contact with its National Focal point, and to raise awareness concerning its activities and the type of technical advisory support it can provide. The mission also included a visit to Nakuru City to visit the Rift Valley provincial disaster-risk reduction platform.


Wed, 21/10/2009 to Fri, 23/10/2009

Host Institution: 

Department of Disaster Risk Reduction Kenya

Mission Expert: 

Shirish Ravan, UN-SPIDER

Mission Profile: 

The mission included a meeting with the UN-SPIDER National Focal Point and with representatives of ISDR/Africa and the Kenyan Humanitarian Forum chaired by OCHA, as well as a meeting with the Rift Valley provincial disaster-risk reduction platform.

Mission Outcome: 

The mission allowed UN-SPIDER to establish closer links with its National Focal Point, the ISDR Africa Office, the Kenyan Humanitarian Forum and the Rift Valley provincial disaster-risk reduction platform. These efforts allowed these entities to become aware of the mission of UN-SPIDER, the type of Technical Advisory Support that it can provide to countries such as Kenya and on the usefulness of in case of disaster-risk reduction and emergency response.

The mission also allowed UN-SPIDER to become aware of on-going efforts in Kenya regarding disaster-risk reduction and emergency response, as well as of the special needs in particular geographic regions of the country which are exposed to landslides and drought.

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