The Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology

CIFDP: Project Description



CIFDP Implementation Plan (2015 update) »


Objectives and Scope:

The CIFDP aims to assist countries with with issues of coastal inundation from oceanographic and/or hydrological phenomena, resulting from severe hydro-meteorological events, to operate and maintain a reliable forecasting system that helps the national decision-making for coastal management, through

  • Identifying the national and regional requirements;
  • Implementing open-source coastal inundation end-to-end operational forecasting and warning systems;
  • Developing cross-cutting cooperation among different scientific disciplines and user communities;
  • Building communication platforms between researchers, forecasters and disaster managers involved in coastal inundation management;
  • Providing specialized training for operators, forecasters and disaster managers.


The main focus of the CIFDP will be to facilitate the development of efficient forecasting and warning systems for coastal inundation based on robust science and observations. The CIFDP should:

  • Identify and support end-user needs;
  • Encourage full engagement of the stakeholders and partners in the CIFDP from early stages, for the successful development and implementation of national sup-projects;
  • Transfer technology to the adopting countries;
  • Facilitate the development of a comprehensive Storm Surge Watch Scheme (SSWS) in basins subject to tropical cyclones and storm surges, jointly with (fluvial) flood events;
  • Facilitate the development and implementation of warning services;
  • Support coastal risk assessment, vulnerability and risk mapping to be used by national disaster management authorities, and for the development of integrated coastal zone management plans;
  • Assist improved and informed decision-making for coastal inundation management.

Expected Outcome and Deliverables:

The major expected outcomes of the CIFDP include the following:

  • Technology development and transfer, including training, which would enhance the capabilities of responsible national agencies to produce and provide integrated coastal inundation forecasting and warning services;
  • Established procedures, best practices and outcomes of CIFDP will serve as guidelines to other countries to develop and improve their related service capabilities, and furthermore, contribute to building specific criteria for designated WMO Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) to provide NMHSs with advice on coastal inundation forecasting and warnings;
  • CIFDP implementation would create synergies with the ongoing regional and global programmes and activities; for example, enhancing effective use of improved Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) products by building a “cascading forecasting process” for coastal processes with the WMO Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) process, and providing technical requirements to develop the regional SSWS;
  • Communication platforms, which would improve interactions of responsible national agencies and partners (e.g. governmental forecasting agencies, agencies responsible for disaster management, Civil Protection Agencies, media), will provide a mechanism for continuous improvement in updating user requirements, technical needs, and user feedback.


Strategic Approach for Project Implementation:

The general strategy for CIFDP, as adopted by the 4th session of JCOMM (May 2012, Yeosu, Republic of Korea), is as follows:

  • The Project would be implemented under each regional/national Sub-Project, launched for a country that meets the essential requirement. This implies initiation of a national agreement between national institutions with relevant responsibilities, and the establishment of a National Coordination Team (NCT) led by the national operational agency responsible for coastal inundation forecasting, usually a NMHS;

  •  The Project would be designed based on users’ perspectives, requirements and capacities, considering existing and available open-source techniques. Final products of the Demonstration Project should be operated and maintained by national operational agencies which have the responsibility/authority for coastal inundation warnings;

  •  The procedures/best practices developed through Sub-Projects should be applicable to other (neighbouring) countries with common issues and interests, and should be closely linked to and cooperating with related projects and activities.

The Sub-Projects of CIFDP are to be implemented in a phased approach, which provides opportunity to adjust the scope of the next phases to fit the prevailing requirements. Not only the final results of the Project, the accomplishment of each phase will serve the target country a useful exercise to raise the issue of coastal inundation management within its governments and among wide range of multidisciplinary communities, and to take steps toward the integrated forecasting and warning services.


National Commitment:

CIFDP is implemented through each Sub-Project initiated by a country, with leadership and participation from operational forecast agency(ies), with the following requirements:

  • Given mandates/responsibilities for coastal inundation forecasting and warning services;
  • Availability of qualified staff to run the system in 24/7 mode, with appropriate infrastructure for operational services, including sufficient computing power and communication bandwidth to run the operational systems;
  • Commitment to sharing all data and information relevant to the inundation forecast process.

In the framework of JCOMM and CHy, the NMHS in cooperation with other national stakeholders, should play a key role in developing, implementing and applying the results of this Project. The NMHS and other national stakeholders including responsible national agencies will establish a Sub-Project National Coordination Team (NCT) to lead the Sub-Project implementation, with guidance by the PSG for each Phase (see section 3.4). Close cooperation with the national authorities for coastal disasters risk and emergency management as well as other stakeholders will ensure that user requirements are fully taken into account in the technical development.

It is strongly recommended that members of a NCT, particularly those of the NMHSs and other responsible forecasting agencies, are selected with a view of their continuing involvement in all Phases of the Sub-Project implementation, in order to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the Project.

User commitment is key; to ensure usability and sustainability of the outcome/results of the project, the end users will be involved from the early phases of project planning. The national and regional implementers should play the main role in identifying users and user requirements


CIFDP Project Implementation:

 The Project for each region/country will be implemented in a phased approach that leaves scope for adjustment in the next phases to fit the prevailing requirements:

  p0 p1 p2 p3 p4

Phase 0: Project

Before the actual start of the CIFDP, an Initial National Agreements at the political level should be prepared.

  • based on a high level definition of the operational scope for the national sub-projects;
  • to ensure commitment and coordination of the national agencies;
  • to ensure free and open exchange of data and information required for implementing a coastal inundation forecast project.


Phase 1: Information Gathering - Project Adaptation

Initial Assessment:

  • Assess and describe national capabilities in the fields of coastal flood risk, inundation forecasting and related emergency management structures;
  • Compile a high level inventory of the institutional end-users’ information and communication needs for emergency management during extreme coastal flooding events - initial User Requirements Plan (URP), to be updated through all Phases of implementation;
  • Combining both assessments will demonstrate where the CIFDP could provide added value.
A Stakeholders Workshop is a key milestone in Phase 1 to deliver the outcomes of Phase 1. It also contribute to the following objectives:
  • wider introduction of the CIFDP;
  • information collection on stakeholder needs and requirements;
  • obtaining agreement and commitment on the project objectives;
  • Interaction with and input from RSMC and other relevant data producing agencies will be actively sought and encouraged

Definitive National Agreement (DNA):

  • Based on the initial/updated sub-project plan arising from the Stakeholder Workshop(s), a definitive commitment is to be obtained from the national government including the responsible national forecasting/warning agencies, to carry out the subsequent phases of the CIFDP Sub-Project, to ensure a long-term coordination between the national agencies within the National Coordination Team (NCT).

Sub-project National Coordination Team (NCT):

  • Based on the updated Project Plan at the Workshop(s), the membership and a Terms of Reference (ToR) will be be agreed along with the DNA, responsible for the timely project implementation at the national level under the guidance and advice of the PSG.

National Capacity Assessment (NCA) and User Requirements Plan (URP):

  • Following the Stakeholders Workshop, a full information collection should be undertaken by the NCT. The National Capacity Assessment (NCA) is a review of the existing technical capacity and capability within a country, as it will be applied to the development of a sustainable, operational coastal inundation forecasting system. It should particularly address the gaps in the present capacity and what is required to implement a robust and accurate forecast system.
  • In parallel with the NCA, identification and documentation of user requirements should be carried out on a continuous basis through the User Requirements Plan (URP); to take into account the needs of disaster management agencies, emergency measures organizations, disaster risk reduction initiatives, of relevant national, regional and international agencies.

Development of Sub-Project Plan (by NCT)

  • Based on the results from the Stakeholders Workshop(s) and follow-up, the sub-project plan will be documented by the NCT, describing:
    • definition of organisational setting, and assessment of responsibilities;
    • current status of technical and institutional capabilities, gaps and needs (cross-reference to the NCA);
    • initial specification for forecasting/warning models and system components, and associated requirements (to be basis of the System Design in Phase 2);
    • working arrangement for sub-project implementation;
    • plans to identify financial and human resources required for project implementation (e.g. draft funding proposal).

Project Phase 1 Review and Approval (by PSG)

  • The compiled deliverables of Phase 1- including the DNA (and the establishment of NCT), NCA, URP and sub-project plan - will be reviewed by the PSG, to decide upon the proceeding to the next phase of the project.



Phase 2: System Implementation

Implementation Kick-off 

  • Prior to implementation, a kick-off meeting will be held to confirm the system implementation approach and the forecasting system setup, as defined in the updated implementation plan. The outcome should include the System Design / specification for national coastal inundation forecasting (CIF) system, and updated URP. The system developer(s) should be selected and agreed through this meeting. The sub-project Plan is to be updated according to the development of the project.

Model & System Development 

  • At this stage, the system developer(s) should work with the NCT in consultation with the PSG to carry out / implement a (pre-)operational forecasting system, as agreed through the System Design.
    • Building (Pre-)Operational Forecasting System 
    • Hardware setup 
    • System Testing and Exercise (pre-test as a demonstration)

User Products 

  • Feedback both from system operators (forecasters) and users of the CIF information should be collected and documented, as part of implementation and evaluation of the project, based on the URP.
  • Development of coastal inunation scenarios (based on historical events) will be carried out in collaboration with disaster management autorities, following existing guidelines.

Capacity Development and Training 

  • Throughout the system implementation phase, appropriate training for system operators/professionals should be carried out. Training at this sttage will be the basis of more extensive formal training in Phase 2, targeting forecasters/operaters and CIFDP focal points, operaters of key NCT members/institutions, system operators of neighbouring countries (as potential users) and operators of other CIFDP sub-projects.  

Sub-Project Plan Update

  • Based on the results from the implementation of the prototype, the sub-project plan will be updated and detailed for the remaining phases of the CIFDP. It is expected to include:
    • acceptance testing plan
    • plan for the operational system set-up
    • input/addition/edition to User Requirement Document
    • human resource development and training plan

Project Phase 2 Review and Approval (by PSG)

  • The compiled deliverables of Phase 2- Implementation report (by System Developer(s) and NCT) including the progress report and pre-test results, upated sub-project plan, updated URP - will be reviewed by the PSG, to decide upon the proceeding to the next phase of the project.


Phase 3: Pre-Operational Testing & Capacity Development

The objective of Phase 3 is to transfer the developed tools and methods in the previous phase to an operational forecasting and warning system. It should include development of operational procedures, development of service products for coastal inundation management, acceptance testing and capacity development. A major event in this phase of the project is the simulation of an extreme inundation event using the CIF technology involving all key stakeholders from the forecasters to the end users at local level. Phase 3 should be concluded with the CIF system going live at the national level.

Developing System User Guidelines

  • User and support documentation should be completed at this stage, documenting procedures and best practices to use the developed CIF tools for issuing forecasts and warnings.

Further Training Material and Capacity Development

  • An important part of training for operators ("on-the-job" training) were taken place in Phase 2. In this Phase, the task should focus on formal training of national agency professionals and key stakeholders, on the operation / maintenance / future development of the CIF technology, and on the use of forecasting products in inundation management procedures.

Acceptance Testing

  • A formal acceptance procedure will be followed to test whether the developed system is ready to be used operationally. The test procedure will have been specified under Phase 2.

End-to-End Forecasting Simulation Event

  • A major milestone for Phase 3 is the simulation of an extreme inundation event using the CIF technology, involving all key stakeholders from the forecasters to the end users at local level.

Handover and Going Live

Project Phase 3 Review and Approval (by PSG)

  • The compiled deliverables of Phase 3- results of the simulation test, system user guidelines and sub-project plan - will be reviewed by the PSG, to decide upon the proceeding to the next phase of the project.


Phase 4
: Live Running & Evaluation

The CIF system is ready to be in operation at ths Phase.  The Project will focus on accommodating user requirements and change requests at this Phase. Through national/international demonstration and discussion, the implementing country and PSG will complete the project evaluation, and build an outlook to future benefits and enhancements

System Updates, Support & Maintenance

Follow-up training

Project evaluation workshop & international conference

Project wrap-up


(last update: August 2014)



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