Workshop tracks radar project’s success

| 12/08/2015
Cayman News Service

The Kearney Gomez Doppler Weather Radar project

(CNS): Overseas experts and local stakeholders recently took part in an evaluation workshop on the 4 million euro Kearney Gomez Doppler Weather Radar project. The radar was a joint project between the EU and the Cayman Islands Government.

The experts were contracted by B&S Europe on behalf of the EU, with local attendees comprising beneficiaries of radar information, including personnel from health services, emergency operations, education institutions, and government departments and agencies.

The workshop, held 7 August at the Government Administration Building, was the culmination of the evaluation process, which also involved interviews and discussions with principal stakeholders including National Weather Service personnel and emergency responders.

The final report will detail findings based on seven important evaluation criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, coherence (compliance with local policies) and added value to the community.

National Weather Service director general John Tibbetts explained how weather radar works and how it might be useful to various sectors of the community. The unit has been fully functional since early 2013 and the public has made significant use of the radar, as indicated by the numerous phone calls whenever the system was down, he said.

Evaluation team leader Murray Phillips explained that a prior financial audit of the project had gauged the non-technical aspects of the intervention and value received for money spent. The final report will assess the overall success of the project in achieving the objectives set out by the EU delegation in Jamaica and the Government of the Cayman Islands, he said.

The report will also help guide the EU on similarly funded future projects, both regionally and in other parts of the world.

Phillips’ colleague, Francisco Reina Barranco, assessed the civil works aspects, including building quality and construction; time delays; and whether all local civil engineering codes of practice were met.

The two experts also explained that the radar sited on Grand Cayman provides real-time information on weather to local, regional and international weather agencies. Importantly, the provision of this radar has plugged the gap in regional weather coverage.

Based on interviews within the local community, the response to the radar project has been extremely positive, Phillips added.

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Category: Weather

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