Why are young professionals so important?
Collaboration between policy-makers, practitioners and researchers from multiple disciplines and all geographical regions from local, national, regional and international levels is needed to ensure effective Flood Early Warning Systems (EWS). The Sendai Framework Target G indicates the need to increase the availability and access to multi-hazard early warning systems. Young professionals have potential to play such a pivotal role in developing and implementing end-to-end EWSs by connecting risk knowledge, forecasting, communication and response, see figure below (WMO, 2018). However, young professionals need support and encouragement to broaden their knowledge across boundaries, share experiences and develop networks to maximise their potential role and impact.
What have WYN been doing to support EWS young professionals?
The Water Youth Network is a connector for young professionals in the water sector and its Disaster Risk Reduction team wants to extend this role to focus on young professionals working on different components of flood early warning systems. The Water Youth Networks recent work includes:
- WMO Bulletin Publication on the role of young professionals driving integration of early warning systems – see webpage here and pdf here.
- Side event “Bridging disciplines and building networks – young professionals perspective” MHEWC Geneva May 2019 – see here.
- Session on the role of young scientists for Preparedness and Early Warning with Deltares – see outcomes here (page 14) and streamed event here (May 2016).
- Poster at the International Conference on EWS in May 2017 see here.
- Policy brief entitled “Developing and implementing effective (multi-hazard) early warning systems: the vital role of young professionals” in the Youth Science Policy Interface Platform Publication – available here (page 24).
The WYN is initiating this young EWS network to connect young professionals working in hydro-met agencies, disaster management authorities and NGOs both nationally and internationally.
@Raihanul Haque Khan, RIMES, Bangladesh
Objectives of the EWS Young Professionals Network
UNDERSTAND CHALLENGES AND NEEDS: Collect evidence on how young professionals identify with the challenges in current EWSs, the role they play in bridging those gaps and the support mechanisms they require.
SHARE KNOWLEDGE: Share experiences and viewpoints of young professionals from different disciplines in different countries working on flood EWS.
BUILD INTERDISCIPLINARY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS: Connect young professionals and senior professionals from different backgrounds working on different components of EWS to support each other and promote end-user evaluations on the effectiveness of EWSs.
Planned activities (2018 -2019)
- Objective 1: Understand the challenges and needs
- Conduct a research project interviewing young professionals working on all four components of EWS to understand the challenges, their roles and the type of support they require.
- Objective 2: Share knowledge
- Run a blog series for young professionals working EWS
- A monthly newsletter and mailing list to exchange opportunities, news, publications amongst professionals and organisations of interest.
- Organise a forum to bring together interdisciplinary young professionals to exchange ideas and develop solutions to bridge the gaps.
- Objective 3: Build interdisciplinary working relationships
- Promote internships between hydromet and disaster management authorities nationally and with international organisations (e.g. WMO) globally
- Support young professional engagement in other WMO networks and communities of practice
- Support end-user focused interdisciplinary research to evaluate the effectiveness of EWSs.