Department Environmental Social Sciences

FANFAR: Reinforced cooperation to provide operational flood forecasting and alerts in West Africa

About the project

Flooding is a rapidly growing concern in West Africa, projected to increase with climate change. It is both a threat and a blessing for human lives, agriculture, and infrastructure. There is a great need for reliable access to operational flood forecasts and alerts produced by a robust information and communication technology (ICT) system adapted to regional conditions and operated by capable West African institutions.

The aim of FANFAR is to reinforce the cooperation between West African and European hydrologists, ICT experts, decision analysts, and end-user communities to provide a co-designed, co-adapted, integrated, and co-operated streamflow forecasting and alert pilot system for West Africa.

End-users will participate in regular workshops and virtual meetings aiming to demonstrate the ICT, define user needs, co-design necessary adaptations, and develop capacity.

Eawag is in charge of Work Package 2: User needs, tests, and behavioural responses

A key objective of FANFAR is to develop relevant technology that responds to the specific needs and preferences of hydro-innovation stakeholders and information end-users in West Africa. Hence, the ICT development is a technical task, but also requires adaptation to user needs. During the ICT development, various decisions will have to be made. These concern, for example, output products, distribution channels, alert levels, data sources, and economic constraints.

To support this, FANFAR will apply Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and approaches from Behavioral Operational Research (BOR). Our main interventions focus on the co-design workshops in West Africa. We will use a framework to guide the West African decision makers and stakeholders through a structured decision-making process. Additionally, we aim at understanding the factors shaping the participants’ responses. The knowledge gained from these processes will help to take into account and synthesize all relevant information. This shall aid technology development decisions and adoption processes aiming to facilitate the sustainable uptake of the ICT flood forecast and alert system in West Africa.

For further information see the FANFAR project homepage

Project partners

FANFAR has six partners

Coordinator: Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Sweden.

Eawag team

PD Dr. Judit Lienert Group Leader, Cluster: DA (Decision Analysis) Tel. +41 58 765 5574 Send Mail


Kuller, M.; Beutler, P.; Lienert, J. (2023) Preference change in stakeholder group-decision processes in the public sector: extent, causes and implications, European Journal of Operational Research, 308, 1268-1285, doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2022.12.001, Institutional Repository
Lienert, J.; Andersson, J.; Hofmann, D.; Silva Pinto, F.; Kuller, M. (2022) How to co-design a flood early warning system (FEWS) for West Africa, Water Science Policy, (4 pp.), doi:10.53014/CBJJ5560, Institutional Repository
Lienert, J.; Andersson, J. C. M.; Hofmann, D.; Silva Pinto, F.; Kuller, M. (2022) The role of multi-criteria decision analysis in a transdisciplinary process: co-developing a flood forecasting system in western Africa, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 26(11), 2899-2922, doi:10.5194/hess-26-2899-2022, Institutional Repository
Kuller, M.; Schoenholzer, K.; Lienert, J. (2021) Creating effective flood warnings: a framework from a critical review, Journal of Hydrology, 602, 126708 (16 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2021.126708, Institutional Repository
Lienert, J.; Andersson, J.; Hofmann, D.; Silva Pinto, F.; Kuller, M. (2020) Report on the co-design workshops in FANFAR to create a flood forecast and alert system for West Africa, 29 p, Institutional Repository
Kuller, M.; Andersson, J.; Lienert, J. (2020) Report of FANFAR Workshop 3. Executive report, 11 p, Institutional Repository
Silva Pinto, F.; Lienert, J.; Andersson, J. (2019) Stakeholder feedback report FANFAR workshop 2, 8 p, Institutional Repository
Silva Pinto, F.; Lienert, J. (2019) Executive report of the FANFAR workshop 1, 8 p, Institutional Repository
Silva Pinto, F.; Lienert, J. (2018) Report activities to establish co-design committee, stakeholder analysis, 48 p, Institutional Repository


PD Dr. Judit Lienert Group Leader, Cluster: DA (Decision Analysis) Tel. +41 58 765 5574 Send Mail

Project information

Project start: January 2018

Project duration: 3 years

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 780118.

FANFAR homepage