World Bank Assesses Role of ICT in Building Resilience to Climate Change-induced Disasters

World Bank27 June 2012: A new World Bank report on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), cities, and natural disasters in Africa, titled "Municipal ICT Capacity and its Impact on the Climate-Change Affected Urban Poor: The Case of Mozambique," highlights the role of ICT to prevent the effects of climate change-induced emergencies in Africa. 

The objective of  the report is to understand the pattern of municipal ICT impacts that may exist in other low-capacity countries with analogous political economy structures in connection with leveraging ICT in public sectors. According to the report, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), assist local governments in the identification of flood zones on maps, measurement of communities' vulnerability to flooding, and planning for new flood-prevention infrastructure. Early Warning Systems simulate weather patterns and predict disasters in advance. Gaurav Relhan, World Bank, author of the report, advocates the co-participation of citizens in urban governance.

The report also assesses the impact of municipal-level ICT on Mozambique's poor communities by evaluating to what extent climate resilience is being enhanced. It recommends the reform of the ICT - Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA) framework to make access to ICT to communities more equitable. The role of ICT in Mozambique mirrors that of World Bank projects in Madagascar, Uganda and Zimbabwe, where smart-phone technologies allow citizens to alert governments of local sanitation and drainage concerns. [Publication: Municipal ICT Capacity and its Impact on the Climate-Change Affected Urban Poor: The Case of Mozambique] [World Bank Press Release]