The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) conducted two hands-on prototype testing workshops on the 27 and 28 October 2021, together with Strata’s research partner, the University of Edinburgh, and technical partner, Earth Blox. The workshops aimed to provide a hands-on introduction to the Strata prototype, and to receive feedback on the technical, ethical and functionality aspects of the platform.
In total, 52 potential end-users and collaborators joined the workshops, representing 30 different organisations. The first workshop was targeted towards Somalia-based practitioners, who were instrumental to the validation of Strata’s indicators and outputs, based on their on-the-ground experience. The second workshop was designed to generate more specific methodological and technical feedback, especially regarding the visualisation of the datasets and clarity in using the dashboard.
The participants found Strata useful for providing data-driven insights towards a holistic understanding of climate security. Participants were also generally satisfied with the ease of use of Strata’s first prototype, even without specialised geospatial data skills. End-users reported that the platform was intuitive with an easy learning curve, which allowed them to conduct their own analysis in less than 5 minutes. Users were eager to learn more about the datasets and methodology used behind Strata, along with the types of analyses it can perform.
Practitioners also expressed the need for more transparency and guidance. They recommended clear guidelines and use-cases, as well as information on data sources and methods throughout the web platform and accompanying materials. Further, users suggested implementing long-term trends and expanding well into time-series data from past observations and future projections, in addition to the near-real-time data currently available. Mapping of time series of individual indicators, especially food security, migration, and urbanisation, was raised as a critical element for climate security assessments in Somalia. Other suggestions by participants included the ability to upload their own data, the ability to modify more parameters such as indicator thresholds, and additional environmental and climatic datasets.
The development team is already at work to address this critical feedback and incorporate as many of the suggestions made as possible, ahead of the launch of the Strata pilot in early February 2022.