Knowledge to Lead

UNITAR Online Catalogue

Geospatial Information Technology application for Flood and Drought Risk Management in the Volta Basin


2 Months
Satellite Imagery and Analysis
Volta Basin Authority


The Volta River basin, with a population of over 24 million shared between six countries, is highly vulnerable to meteorological and hydrological hazards. Over the past two decades, almost two million people have been affected by floods. In terms of the Volta Basin spatial flood disaster distribution, EM-DAT[1] records show that disasters almost tripled in the last two decades, with some of the Volta Basin countries experiencing disasters five to six times higher than during the period from 1980 to 1999. With climate change predicting reduction of mean annual precipitation and temperature increase, dry seasons are expected to be longer and drier and rainy seasons will be characterized by short and intense precipitation events. Growing population and improper land use management, in combination with climate variability. are putting more people at risk. Adaptation plans, frameworks and strategies for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, on regional and national levels of the Volta Basin, are very important. However, follow-up and monitoring actions are also crucial in building resilience toward future climate change-related impacts. To support the Volta basin countries in climate change adaptation the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Volta Basin Authority (VBA) and Global Water Partnership (GWP) West Africa are implementing a 4-year Volta Flood and Drought Management (VFDM) project entitled as ‘Integrating Flood and Drought Management and Early Warning for Climate Change Adaptation in the Volta Basin.’

Within the framework of the VFDM project activities, capacity development activities are foreseen in terms of face-to-face and distance/e-learning training at the National and Regional levels. The Regional Course on Geospatial Information Technology application for Flood and Drought Risk Management in the Volta Basin is the e-learning training implemented by the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT). UNOSAT is hosted at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), with the mission to promote evidence-based decision making for peace, security and resilience using geo-spatial information technologies.

The training tailored in 5 e-learning modules on the use of Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) applications for integrated flood and drought risk management is organised in close collaboration with the WMO and GWP West Africa.



This 2-month online course aims to introduce participants with basic concepts and terminologies of Geospatial Information Technology (GIT), Flood Risk Management (FRM) and Drought Risk Management including an overview of relevant GIT applications for Flood and Drought Risk Management. Apart from the concepts and GIT applications, the participants also will be introduced to operational workflow for flood and drought analysis using open source QGIS software and satellite imagery. 


Recall basic concepts and definitions relative to Geospatial Information Technology (GIT); 
Describe basic concepts and principles of Drought and Flood Risk Management;
Demonstrate relevant GIT applications for flood and drought risk management;
Recognize relevant sources of geospatial data for flood and drought GIS analysis across Volta basin region;
Describe the GIS workflow for flood and drought analysis using QGIS software;

Recognize relevant geospatial initiatives and tools for improved decision making for flood and drought management;


Module 0: Opening (pre-recorded) webinar session: Introduction to UNOSAT and the course program

Module 1: Introduction to GIT

Module 2: GIT applications for flood risk management

Module 3 : GIT applications for drought risk management

Module 4 : Relevant sources of geospatial data and GIS workflow for flood and drought analysis across Volta Basin region

Module 5: Geospatial based products/services for improved decision making for flood and drought management

Final assessment (quiz)/ online training evaluation questionnaire



This course is designed to provide participants with flexibility in terms of attendance, whereas 5 modules with lessons on GIS and RS, their application in flood and drought risk management can be taken through a period of 2 months. During this period participants will have the opportunity to take 5 modules consist of theoretical concepts and case examples of specific topics through presentations, particular tutorial videos (demos), and additional reading material along with quick quizzes and a final course questionnaire. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in Drop-In Q&A Live Sessions and an online discussion board as needed. The estimated total designed workload which should be completed within 2 months would be approximately 38 hours including the compulsory final assessment and QGIS tutorials (not compulsory for successful completion of the course). Mandatory pre-post and course evaluations will be sent to participants before the beginning and at the end of the course.

The course will be delivered using asynchronous learning, so participants will not be requested to attend the course at a particular time since all material will be accessible for 2 months. Therefore, the course material will be entirely available online and accessible by participants when it best suits their schedule. In case of poor internet connection, participants will be provided with the material in downloadable formats for offline self-study.


The regional course is designed to accommodate governmental officers, women, and men, from the Volta River Basin countries with background and working experience in flood and drought management, and early warning for climate change adaptation. Previous knowledge on Flood and Drought Risk Management and Geospatial Information Technologies is not required. A gender balance among participants is strongly encouraged.