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Capacity building in using open-source software

Using R, a free statistical computing software, to strengthen research in the HKH

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Through trainings organised by our Cryosphere, Climate Services, and Himalayan University Consortium initiatives, we have introduced researchers, students, and professionals from national meteorological and hydrological services in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan to R, a free statistical computing software.

Through our Cryosphere Initiative, we have organised regular data analysis trainings using R since 2019, training 71 participants from across the HKH over the years. Since 2020, through our Climate Services Initiative, we have organised three trainings for research institutes and national meteorological and hydrological services on assessing past and future climate using R and regional climate models. Likewise, the 2021 edition of the HUC Summer School was on bringing meaning to statistical practice in climate science using R.

These events have focussed on imparting programming techniques and data analysis skills to create robust workflows for reproducible scientific research, and participants have gone on to use the software to expand their research and develop new tools.

In Bhutan, the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology has used R to analyse data for their national inventory of glaciers and glacial lakes. Similarly, in Pakistan, the Water and Power Development Authority has developed a flood forecasting module using the software. Professionals at the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, and Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology are now able to use R and regional climate projections to assess present and future climate over a defined area of interest.

Data analysis is an integral part of scientific inquiry, and our capacity-building efforts have helped create robust workflows for reproducible scientific research

capacity-building efforts

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