Project Name Nowcasting and Disasters: Impact-Based Forecasting and Socioeconomic Monitoring
Project Number 54113-001
Country / Economy Regional
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 6536-REG: Nowcasting and Disasters: Impact-Based Forecasting and Socioeconomic Monitoring
Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific US$ 2.00 million
Operational Priorities OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
OP3: Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability
OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
Sector / Subsector

Public sector management / Economic affairs management

Gender Some gender elements
Description The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will establish a monitoring platform to assess in near-real time the economic impacts of disasters, and to trace social, environmental, and other indicators of relevance.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy Analysts and policymakers wanting to assess the socioeconomic impacts of extreme events such as disasters and economic crisis typically lack access to timely, current information. For example, there was a dearth of currently observable data upon which to assess the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic's impacts during the first weeks and months upon its appearance, other than the recorded numbers of clinically-confirmed cases and fatalities. This added to uncertainty and socioeconomic costs associated with the outbreak and stunted the effectiveness of early policy response. The same is true for disasters such as floods, droughts, and earthquakes, whose impacts are usually not assessed until long after the event, or remain entirely unknown. Also in normal times, ADB''s DMCs often have limited capacity to monitor current economic activity. ADB has been active in providing nowcasting solutions, especially to countries where gross domestic product and other core economic indicators become available only on a yearly basis, hampering timely policy interventions. This TA will enhance these efforts by establishing a data collection and monitoring platform for nowcasting and impact-based forecasting to rapidly assess socioeconomic impacts of disasters as well as baseline performance during normal times. It will also set up analytical frameworks to more accurately measure disaster impacts retrospectively.

Climate and disaster resilience, economic and social monitoring, and policy formulation in ADB's DMCs improved

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

Disaster impact assessments and socioeconomic monitoring capacity in ADB''s DMCs strengthened

Progress Toward Outcome The project team has engaged with stakeholders and practitioners both within ADB and in DMCSs by taking the findings and recommendations of the research to seek feedback, data sharing, buy-in and collaboration on implementation. Trainings, workshops, seminars and collaboration initiatives are ongoing activities and an international conference is in the pipeline.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

State-of-the-art data collection and nowcasting technologies for contemporaneous impact assessments consolidated

Data and methods combined and calibrated for ready application to the specific circumstances of the DMCs

Retrospective impact assessments and studies accomplished

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The TA sub-projects are in various stages of completion, from data compilation, analysis, knowledge generation, dissemination, to capacity building. The project team has conducted research studies and explored the potential of the following innovative and conventional data in the context of disaster impact assessment and socioeconomic monitoring:

Remote Sensing Data. The TA had conducted several seminars and published research products that utilizes remote sensing data (e.g., nighttime lights, satellite data images, vegetation index, AIS)

Knowledge products

- [Policy Brief] Economic Applicability of the Automatic Identification System Data: Use Cases and the Way Forward (March 2023)

- [Policy Brief] Appraising New Damage Assessment Techniques in Disaster-Prone Fiji, (February 2023)

- [Working Paper] Nowcasting from Space: Tropical Cyclones Impact on Fiji's Agriculture (January 2023)

- [Working Paper] A gender-specific earthquake recovery assessment using administrative and satellite data: The case of Indonesia's 2016 Aceh earthquake series (December 2022)

- [Blog] Why gender-specific data is critical to manage disaster risk: Giving policymakers the tools they need (28 July 2022)


- [USP-ADB Workshop] Nowcasting from Space: Tropical Cyclones' Impacts on Fiji's Agriculture (26 April 2023)

- [USP-ADB Workshop] Evaluation of Remotely Sensed Nighttime Light as Complementary Data Source for Economic Indicators in Pacific Island Economies (26 April 2023)

- [Workshop with Fiji Officials] Appraising New Damage Assessment Techniques in Disaster-Prone Fiji (24 April 2023)

- [ERCD Seminar] Impact of Tropical Cyclones on Fisheries in the Philippines (21 February 2023)

- [Data X ADB] Panelist for Data Practitioner's Perspectives (17 November 2022, 18 May 2023)

- [UN Big Data Hackathon] Using raw AIS data from the UN Global Platform for assessing impact of typhoons in the Philippines (8-11 November 2022)

- [ERCD Seminar] Nowcasting employment indicators using remote sensing data in Bangladesh (3 November 2022)

- [ERCD Seminar] Remote sensing data in assessing the impact of floods and storms in Bangladesh (3 November 2022)

- [Seminar] Paper presentation at the National Convention on Statistics of the Philippine Statistics Authority: Nighttime lights data and its applications: The case of the Philippines (5 October 2022)

- [Seminar] Paper presentation at the Singapore Economic Review Conference: A gender-specific earthquake recovery assessment using administrative and satellite data: The case of Indonesia's 2016 Aceh earthquake series (3 August 2022)

- [AIW] Making Big Data Work for Economic Assessment (8 March 2022)

- [ERCD Seminar] Nowcasting from Space: Tropical Cyclones Impact on Fiji's Agriculture (3 February 2022)

Mobility Data. The project explores the usefulness of mobile phone location data in socioeconomic monitoring. A pilot study was conducted to explore potential in assessing the impact of floods and earthquakes. Another project that explores use of mobile location data in identifying visitor flow patterns, before, during and after lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand, is in progress.

Text-based data. The project conducted research projects to evaluate usefulness of text-based data from news articles, through subscription to Dow Jones Factiva database for nowcasting macroeconomic activity in select DMCs. Appropriate methodologies such as dynamic factor and machine learning models have been implemented. A working paper is being drafted and the automated toolkit developed.

- [ERCD Seminar] Nowcasting economic growth using text-based data from news articles and machine learning models (29 August 2022)

- Accepted for presentation at the Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society (28-30 July 2023)

- Brownbag on potential of twitter data for macroeconomic monitoring (7 March 2023)

Job portal data. A scoping study which aims to develop/extract data from various job portal websites of select DMCs to understand the role and the drivers of online job portals in the context of domestic labor markets, and their technical attributes has just been completed. Knowledge products and codebase are being finalized.

- [ERCD Seminar] Exploring online job portals for economic analysis in Asia and the Pacific (27 April 2023)

Multi-Regional Input-Output Table. A project assessing the sectoral impact of disasters has been presented at the ERCD seminar and the knowledge product is now being finalized.

- [ERCD Seminar] Assessing sectoral effect of disasters using ADB MRIOT (11 November 2022)

Nowcasting tools. This project uses high-frequency data and machine learning analytics to create nowcasting tools.

- [ERCD Seminar] Nowcasting GDP growth in Sri Lanka using high-frequency data and machine learning analytics (11 April 2022)

- NTL as input to TrackingAsia macro monitoring framework (in progress)

- Nowcasting employment indicators using remote sensing data in Bangladesh (in progress)

Rapid survey. The TA will conduct a rapid survey to evaluate the usefulness of a gender-specific instrument to assess post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery of affected communities. The project is currently ongoing and in the pilot testing stage.

Geographical Location Regional
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services ADB will engage the consultants following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions Firms may also be recruited, especially if necessary to access proprietary data platforms or modelling techniques and will be selected through either consultant qualification selection or direct contracting method. Since there are only a handful of firms that have highly-specialized expertise in disaster impact assessments and nowcasting using big data, and also considering that recruitment time is critical during a disaster episode, the proposed selection methods are Consultants' qualification selection and direct contracting (single-source selection). Up to 15 individual international consultants will be engaged to prepare retrospective (ex-post) studies that systemically assess the impacts of past disasters and socioeconomic shocks. One national consultant will be hired to assist with coordination on data collection and analysis. For capacity building activities, the TA will engage two or more individual international consultants to support on-site activities. ADB will engage experts, which could include ADB staff, as resource persons to produce knowledge products and facilitate workshops, trainings and conferences.
Procurement The purchase of information communication technology-related equipment, supplies, econometric or statistical programs and/or software, will follow the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and Procurement Regulations for ADB Borrowers (2017, as amended from time to time). The TA team will also consult ADB''s Information Technology Department and Office of Administrative Services in relation to the purchase of information communication technology hardware and software. Where applicable, the TA team will coordinate with ADB''s Procurement, Portfolio and Financial Management Department and Office of the General Counsel before purchasing datasets and signing data use agreements with DMC statistical agencies and third-party database providers. After the TA is completed, the TA team will dispose of any procured equipment in compliance with the project administration instructions on administering grant-financed TA projects. Disbursements under this TA will be made in accordance with ADB's Technical Assistance Disbursement Handbook (2010, as amended from time to time).
Responsible ADB Officer Pundit, Madhavi
Responsible ADB Department Economic Research and Development Impact Department
Responsible ADB Division Macroeconomics Research Division (ERMR)
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
Concept Clearance 08 Apr 2020
Fact Finding 02 Mar 2020 to 02 Mar 2020
Approval 10 Jul 2020
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 16 Jun 2023

TA 6536-REG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
10 Jul 2020 - 10 Jul 2020 30 Jun 2023 30 Jun 2025 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
0.00 2,000,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2,000,000.00 09 Feb 2024 1,024,299.31
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