Skilful forecasts of an imminent disaster can allow the prevention of
disaster effects and preparation for the impacts of disaster for many of
the world’s most vulnerable groups and individuals. However, while
forecasts are becoming increasingly available, humanitarians regularly
fail to implement such Forecast-based Action. This report demonstrates
the interdisciplinary challenges in moving towards robust frameworks for
Forecast-based Action (FbA) for different humanitarian actors. This is a
particularly critical strategy in light of changing risks worldwide, and
research investments are needed to provide information, methods, and
guidance for the successful establishment of such systems.
The Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCCC) is developing a novel
framework for Forecast-based Action, called Forecast-based Financing
(FbF). It addresses the interdisciplinary challenges by developing
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be defined in advance of a
forecast, and activated when a forecast exceeding a pre-specified risk
level is issued.
The aim of this report was to establish research priorities for
informing the development of frameworks for Forecast-based Action,
basing these on the considerations, successes, and challenges faced in
the FbF pilot studies. While the FbF concept is applicable to any
predictable hazards where loss-avoiding action is possible, this report
focuses primarily on floods, mirroring the focus of the FbF pilot
studies and acknowledging that floods are the most common natural
disaster, accounting for 43% of all recorded events and affecting nearly
2.5 billion people between 1994 and 2013. Given the disproportionate
impact of natural hazards in lower-income countries, and the reported
success of flood early warning systems elsewhere, improving the capacity
of communities, nations and humanitarian organisations to utilise
skilful flood early warnings systems can have considerable impact.
Stephens, E.; Coughlan de Perez, E.; Kruczkiewicz, A.; Boyd, E.; Suarez, P. Forecast-based Action. University of Reading, Reading, UK (2015) 41 pp.