Global Data Lab Develops Climate Monitor for Developing Countries

Radboud University's Global Data Lab is involved in the development of a Climate Vulnerability Monitor. This monitor will identify how vulnerable developing countries are to climate change, and which social factors may play a role in this.

According to Jeroen Smits, professor of Economic and Human Development at Radboud University and founder of the Global Data Lab, the project provides a unique combination of climate data and social data at the sub-national level. “The monitor provides a detailed map of the climate vulnerabilities in these countries,” Smits explains.

“It is important that we not only focus on climate data, such as the increase in temperature or the amount of precipitation, but that we also make connections with data about the people living in the regions. This allows us to gain more insight into the factors that influence the vulnerability or resilience of the regions against climate change and to develop more targeted policy measures. The Global Data Lab's database has information at the subnational regional level on education, inequality, infrastructure, drinking water quality, the position of women, and all kinds of other factors that may play a role.”

Public-friendly website under development

The monitor is developed at the request of the Climate Vulnerability Forum (CVF), an organisation of 55 developing countries that are vulnerable to climate change. Smits and his colleagues intend to deliver the first version of the monitor in October. It will then be presented at the pre-COP meeting, where the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) in November is prepared.

The Global Data Lab is developing the monitor together with three German climate-related organisations, Climate Analytics, the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons, and the Climate Media Factory. The German Federal Ministry of the Environment has allocated a sum of $670,000 for the project.

With the help of Climate Media Factory, the final monitor will be developed into a user-friendly website, accessible to everybody. Smits: “In this way, other researchers as well as journalists and people from the region can easily access the data. In addition, new research will be facilitated that will give us a better understanding of the vulnerabilities as well as the opportunities offered by climate change in these regions.”

Want to know more? Get in touch with:

  • Jeroen Smits, jeroen.smits [at] (jeroen[dot]smits[at]ru[dot]nl)
  • Radboud University Science Communication, media [at], 024 361 6000

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Sustainability, International, Society