IRAP Newsletter May 2016

  • Jeevika now has a new CEO. Arvind has moved on as the principal secretary of Rural Development, Government of Bihar. The new CEO of Jeevika, D Balamurugun, will report to Arvind.  
  • Tauhid has started work on selecting villages from 4 districts (2 flood prone, 2 drought prone) and met with two potential data collection agency at Jeevika offices to go through how data will be collected. Then Ajit will ask them to make their bids. With the selection of villages, Tauhid will able to circulate the baseline questionnaire. Tauhid will continue to interact with local disaster management personnel to obtain local institutional data. 
CLR Field Efforts
  • Household survey efforts are feet away from the finish line. There is about 3 more days of field work remaining in order to revisit 3 communities. The team currently conducted 459 interviews in 18 communities. However, about 30 of these surveys will be excluded from some analyses due to being conducted within communities very very low numbers of coffee farmers (and therefore biasing the sample). Half of the key informant interview transcriptions have been completed. 
Stakeholder Engagement
  • The Caribbean team is in continuous talks with JM met service, IICA and CIB to find a viable path forward for capacity building efforts and routine dissemination of climate and weather information. Current thinking involves community and extension-level training sessions and the creation of text messaging and bulletin-form communications. 
CLR Factsheet
  • Valerie received very positive comments back from Jacques Avelino about the CLR literature review; we are waiting to hear from one other CLR expert before making refinements. 
  • Christina G. and Zack G. will be at the CariCOF in Dominica to host with CIMH 5 focus groups; with 3 stakeholder groups, discussions will be centered on climate sensitive decisions and with 2 met groups discussions will focus on opportunities and constraints to capacity and tailoring efforts.
  • Zack G. and Teddy A. are tag-teaming a presentation about CLR and JM Drought Valuation.
Team News
  • Ashutosh K. defended his masters thesis (congrats Ash!). Ash will be attending Washington State University next fall to pursue an Econ PhD (following in Tauhid’s rather large footsteps).
  • Valerie R. ialso teaching a class this summer and therefore will not be working on IRAP-related activities this summer, though we hope to engage her at least intellectually. 
  • Saleh A. is in Bangladesh for about 1 month to begin his dissertation research. Saleh was very entrepreneurial and secured several grants to help fund his fieldwork. We’re looking forward to some pictures and stories
  • Welcome Cindy Chiang, the new IRAP intern from the Climate and Society program, who will officially begin on 31 May.
Meeting attendance
  • Teddy A. attended the 2016 Continuously Operating Caribbean Observing Network (COCONet) users meeting in Punta Cana, The Dominican Republic from 3-5 May 2016. He attended as a former COCONet Graduate Fellow and presented updates on his Caribbean rainfall related research using high resolution GPS based water vapor and rainfall measurements. Existing networks were strengthened and new contacts were developed throughout the week with met. service employees from many different Caribbean islands. In addition, current IRAP work was introduced to many of meeting attendees. Teddy also hosted a group data access and visualization workshop with met. workers that featured the IRI Data Library. As a result of the meeting, new research themes were shared and collaborative units were forged to initiate new research exploiting the use of high resolution GPS based water vapor measurements. His participation at the meeting was fully funded by Unavco.