[GFDRR Speaker Series] Building Resilience During COVID-19 - Learning from Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems to Respond to Pandemics


One of the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to understand the vulnerability of individuals, communities and societies in order to have reliable, targeted guidance and early warnings. Meteorology and hydrology are making good progress in this direction, so what can we learn from those experiences? This event will be a discussion on the prospects for applying Multi-Hazard Impact-based Early Warning Systems (MHIEWS) to pandemics, drawing on insights about what works well when communicating information about risk. Opening Remarks/Chair: Julie Dana, Practice Manager and Head of GFDRR Prior to her current role, Julie was Practice Manager in the Climate and Risk Management unit in the World Bank's Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice, and Lead Financial Sector Specialist for the Finance and Markets Global Practice based in Johannesburg, South Africa. From 2008-2014, she worked for the World Bank Treasury leading policy dialogue, capacity building, and transaction support for Ministries of Finance interested in hedging currency, interest rate, commodity, and catastrophe risks. She also spent six years in the Agriculture and Rural Development Department as a member of the Commodity Risk Management team. Speaker: Dr. David Rogers, Lead Meteorological Consultant, GFDRR Dr. Rogers’ career in meteorology and oceanography spans more than four decades. He has authored over 100 papers and books on meteorology, oceanography and related fields. He has held numerous senior appointments including Chief Executive of the UK Met Office, Vice President of Science Applications International Corporation, Director of the Office of Weather and Air Quality Research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Director of Physical Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Associate Director of the California Space Institute and President of the Health and Climate Foundation, which he co-founded. Discussants: Catalina Jaime, Senior Risk Adviser, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre Catalina coordinates the global strategic development of Forecast-based Financing and the technical support for the design and implementation of the global anticipatory funding mechanism of the IFRC, along with technical advice to Early Action projects at global level. She is the knowledge manager of the Science for Humanitarian Emergencies & Resilience program and is currently working on her PhD at the University of Twente on Early Warning and Early Action in conflict-affected settings. Madeleine Thomson, Interim Head, Our Planet, Our Health, Senior Science Lead, Climate Change and Health, Wellcome Trust Madeleine previously held senior research positions at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She also served as director of the IRI/PAHO-WHO Collaborating Centre on Early Warning Systems for Malaria and Other Climate-Sensitive Diseases. Madeleine originally trained as a field entomologist. Dr. Will Lang, Head of Civil Contingencies Services, UK Met Office After joining the Met Office in 1998, Dr. Lang trained as a forecaster in various operational roles, eventually spending several years as Chief Operational Meteorologist. Currently, he has responsibility for the UK’s weather warnings system as part of the Public Weather Service. He also leads the Met Office’s team of Civil Contingencies Advisors, giving support to UK government and resilience services around severe weather.

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