About The International Research and Applications Project (IRAP): Integrating Climate Information and Decision Processes for Regional Climate Resilience

The NOAA International Research and Applications Project (IRAP) supports activities that link climate research and assessments to practical risk management, the creation of early warning systems, and development and adaption challenges.


What is IRAP?

NOAA’s Climate Program Office (CPO), in partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), recently established the International Research and Applications Project (IRAP): Integrating Climate Information and Decision Processes for Regional Climate Resilience.  The IRAP seeks to create bridges and partnerships among the scientific community’s multi-disciplinary research and services activities, and the needs and capabilities of decision makers and resource managers around the world with a stake in risk management, adaptation and development. The project's primary objective is to enhance societal resilience to climate-related impacts by fostering the effective development and application of capacity, information and knowledge in the context of current and future adaptation and development paths.

The IRAP is intended to serve as a cornerstone of NOAA's contributions to international efforts to catalyze andbuild climate services-related knowledge and infrastructure for adaptation,development and risk management,including, inter alia, the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

The IRAP team, supported by NOAA and USAID, is co-led by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and the University of Arizona.  Members of the project group bring to the table a diverse suite of expertise spanning the physical and social sciences, as well as experts in training, policy development and analysis, regional knowledge, development, communications and outreach. The IRAP team itself is anticipated to provide a boundary function, providing a range of research-based activities linking basic climate science to impacts and decision-making needs. It will connect the synthesis, interpretation and translation of physical climate information, including monitoring and prediction capabilities, with interdisciplinary applications research on impacts, vulnerabilities and decision making needs and capabilities of information users, and the enhancement of the institutional and technical capacity for the application of climate information to support proactive planning and response.

This multi-disciplinary IRAP team will advance five strategic goals:

  1. Determine vulnerabilities and user needs;
  2. Co-produce climate information;
  3. Create relevant decision support tools;
  4. Improve system through evaluation; and 5) Enhance local capacity.

Where Does IRAP Work?

Recognizing that many areas of the world face significant socio-economic impacts due to the effects of climate variability and change, NOAA has selected the three regions listed below based on a combination of conditions both within, and external to the agency, including, inter alia: existing scientific, technical and institutional capabilities and partnerships; emerging opportunities for research, cooperation and applications for adaptation and risk management; and the presence of opportunities to address a range of key climatic and development issues across multiple time scales. This prioritization enables IRAP to optimize the investment of resources and allow for substantial focus, partnership development, and analysis.  The three regions that IRAP will address during the first 5 years of funding are as follows:

  1. The Caribbean;
  2. West Africa; and the
  3. Indo-Gangetic Plain.

In each of these regions, the IRAP team will work closely with a suite of national, regional and international institutions to co-develop and implement research, develop experimental products, and advance training and capacity building to build resilience through sustained, reliable and timely climate services and assessments.  Please see the IRAP Webpage for more information about specific partners and activity updates in each of these three regions: http://irapclimate.org/


Calendar of Events

«November 2017»


Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910



Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.