J7.3 Triggering Health Relative Preparedness Action Based on Meteorological and Climatic Forecasts

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 9:00 AM
Conference Center: Tahoma 5 (Washington State Convention Center )
Andrew Kruczkiewicz, IRI/Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Palisades, NY; and E. Coughlan de Perez, C. Jaime, and P. Suarez

Forecast based financing (FbF) is a novel approach to climate services. FbF refers to the automatic triggering of pre-established humanitarian actions based on forecasts and observations at various lead times (Coughlan de Perez et al., 2015). This system will be of particular interest to humanitarian and government disaster managers as preparedness actions prior to hydro-meteorological disasters can be ad hoc.

Currently, humanitarian organizations, such as the Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) and World Food Programme (WFP) have been exploring methods for taking health relative actions based on forecasts. Examples include using short term forecasts (5-10 days) of extreme rainfall to trigger the distribution of health kits to avoid potential spikes in cholera and using monthly or seasonal forecasts to identify which areas are more likely to experience heighted risk of vector borne diseases and prioritizing where and when to prioritize interventions.

Climate information is a key component to FbF, both in the development of thresholds (which will trigger the release of funds and lead to action) and in forecast product selection and validation. First, without historical climate data it would be impossible to know the quantity of specific variables that pre-empted the hydrometeorological disasters. Without knowledge of these quantities it would be challenging to identify the appropriate thresholds. Second, without a standard in reporting and monitoring procedures, evaluating the effectiveness of both the forecast and the FbF system as a whole would be challenging.

 In the same way that the geophysical characteristics of flood and drought vary spatially and temporally by specific type, so too does the linked humanitarian action. The results of this initiative will support the ability to link forecasts directly to preparedness actions through the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs), subsequently informing policy designed to increase resilience to hydrometeorological disasters.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner