Hydromet Services and Early-Warning Systems

What we do


Help countries plan and prepare for extreme weather, cooperating closely with national hydrological and meteorological (hydromet) services and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


Support governments in strengthening hydromet monitoring, forecasting and early-warning systems in vulnerable developing countries.


Assist governments in upgrading the technological systems that gather, analyze, and produce hydromet data, and provides training on how best to share and use that knowledge for decision-making purposes.



GFDRR is working to improve the ability of developing countries to understand, predict, and warn their citizens of meteorological and hydrological hazards. The Hydromet initiative advises national governments to drive investment and increase knowledge in modern systems and tools. This helps to close the development gap and minimize loss and damage from future extreme weather events.

Upgrading Infrastructure

GFDRR delivers technical assistance in hydromet and early-warning systems (EWS), advising service management how to modernize and operate information systems needed to collect data, develop forecasts, and communicate the findings to the public and to risk managers.

  • The Hydromet team advises countries on the scope and composition of end-to-end hydromet service production systems that are sustainable within national fiscal and institutional constraints. The team also helps countries to make these systems operational.
  • After severe flooding in Sri Lanka this year, the team commissioned an assessment which concluded that improved forecasting and dissemination could have prevented damage. Subsequently, GFDRR developed an investment program which will be included in a larger WBG DRM operation.

Training and Capacity Building

Even with upgraded technology, developing countries struggle due to insufficient expert manpower.

  • In cooperation with WMO, the Hydromet initiative ensures hydromet agency staff—including observers, ICT experts, forecasters and managers—have access to the best international approaches and learn to apply them.
  • The program also encourages governments to support capacity building, institutional strengthening, and resourcing to properly operate and maintain systems.


The Hydromet initiative plays a unique role globally: On the ground, it brings expertise to WBG teams, designing and implementing projects that strengthen national meteorological and hydrological agencies.

  • This can involve institutional coordination, such as integrating the work of separate departments for sustainable hydromet and EWS service. The initiative also advises agencies on how to apply information to manage risk and improve productivity in weather-dependent sectors of the economy, such as agriculture.
  • GFDRR also maintains a strong partnership with the WMO and other development partners on its hydromet work. The WMO provides access to technical knowledge and expertise and links to the international policy dialogue. In turn, GFDRR helps leverage investment and ensures coordination and common approaches across partners.

Photo Credit: Ralph Kresge/NOAA


Workshop Proceedings

Development Partners Meetings

2016 Meeting: On 13-14 April 2016, the World Meteorological Organization and the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery co-hosted a roundtable for development partners interested in strengthening hydrometeorological services to better support sustainable development worldwide.

  • Download the meeting summary here.

Featured Publications: Lessons Learned from Japan


Head of Hydromet

Vladimir Tsirkunov: vtsirkunov@worldbank.org

Other Contact(s)

Anna-Maria Bogdanova: ambogdanova@worldbank.org