The Joint Planning Staff and the WCRP offices held a Teleconference 22 April 2020

The JPS and the International Project Offices of WCRP held a teleconference on April 22nd, as part of their efforts for a continuous communication between all offices, for a better coordination of activities and to share experiences about how their activities are being affected by the Global Coronavirus crisis.

The meeting was chaired by the CORA office, and was attended by: Gwen Hamon (CliC), Mareike Kenntner & Hans Volkert (SPARC), Irene Lake & Linda Nilsson (CORDEX), Jose Santos & Jing Li (CLIVAR), Mike Sparrow & Narelle van der Wel (JPS), Seungon Hwang & Yukyung Hyun (S2S), Beatriz Balino (Chair), Anke Schlünsen-Rico & Seung Jae Mum (CORA), Valentina Rabanal (YESS).


  • At the beginning of the teleconference, each IPO provided updates on their activities and current challenges. Many meetings and workshops organised by the WCRP community have either been cancelled or postponed to the second half of the year or even later, or convened virtually (e.g. JSC-41).  Thus, it is important for the whole WCRP community to identify best practices regarding the digital platforms in the organization of events, sharing of documents and data, etc. Meanwhile, a WCRP regional activities database is being developed by CORA and is expected to be launched in May and demo in the JSC-41.


  • Then a discussion was held on the use of communication platforms. A number of platforms are in use, depending on the purposes, (e.g. for internal communication/team work: Teams, Slack, Microsoft 365, Alfresco, Trello, Adobe Connect; for sharing information: Google Drive, DropBox, One Drive; for on-line meetings:  Zoom, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, Trello, BlueJeans). JPS informs that WCRP is discussing to introduce Microsoft 365 for the whole community.  Another matter to take into consideration is the access and performance of these platforms vary according to regions (Africa, South America, China...). Lastly, the present extensive use of digital platforms has come to be in light of WCRP´s concern about Carbon-footprint.  SPARC informs that they have a very active group in that topic (C-footprint) and so IPO offered to share this information with the rest. In short: Even though there won´t be the “one platform that fits all”, and probably many of the existing platforms will be changed in the near future to adapt to the emerging trend, it would be a benefit to this group to share experiences from our communities.


  • Next, there was a discussion on how to monitor WCRP success. Participants informed about some of the metrics/Key Performance Indicators (KPI) being used for the monitoring of activities: homepage statistics, feedbacks from users, gathering of science articles as special issues in journals, number of downloads of datasets/predictions from WCRP databases, number of CMIP citations, engagement in social media, number of webinars, etc. JPS informs that a novel metrics adopted recently by WMO measures the number of MET agencies producing decadal forecasts from simulations originating from the work of the Grand Challenge Near-Term Climate Prediction.  Major problem is that the WCRP activities are so diverse and dispersed that it will be difficult to gather around few, simple metrics which in turn are inter-comparable. For instance, how to monitor the success of capacity building activities? A way to overcome this problem would be to tailor metrics to the target audience, e.g. different audiences will require different metrics. It was emphasised that whatever metric is chosen it should be accountable and not too time consuming to produce. JPS informs that there will be a community discussion around this topic in connection to the WCRP Implementation Plan, with background on the new MoU between WCRP and their sponsors (WMO, IOC-UNESCO IOC and ICS) which reads: “Monitoring of the performance of WCRP according to agreed metrics”. Thus, the WCRP offices will be asked to contribute to this discussion.


The next telecon will be held at the end of May, after the JSC-41. CLIVAR will chair the next telecon and will prepare the agenda.