A new DfID funded Forecast-based Action project led by Emily Wilkinson from the FATHUM team

Author: Emily Wilkinson, Overseas Development Institute

A range of large scale social protection and risk finance initiatives as well as promising innovations in forecast-based action (FbA) have emerged in recent years. This field of forecast-based early action is rapidly expanding, and consolidating the evidence, experience, and lessons from early efforts to develop forecast-based action and finance tools can help improve the impacts and effectiveness of future investments.

The Scoping and Design for Taking Forecast-Based Early Action to Scale project funded under the WISER programme will do just that. ODI and partners including the University of Sussex, the START Network, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, and Tetra Tech, will work together to review and share existing forecasting and decision-making capabilities and links to finance for early action that can be triggered in a range of different contexts. The project team will identify opportunities for institutionalising early action through modifications to existing delivery systems, carefully designed in partnership with relevant stakeholders.

Three focal studies will be selected to reflect a variety of early action financing and delivery mechanisms. The goal of the focal studies will be to (a) uncover the political economy and other factors influencing the formalisation of FbA mechanisms; and (b) build interest and dialogue between key stakeholders (providers of forecasts and potential users of that information). Research will cover up to three types of ‘systems’: an international financing mechanism; a national delivery system (in a stable institutional context); and through non-state actors (in a fragile context). The completed Focal Studies report will set out the context and rationale for scaling up in each system and describe the process of co-production used to bring together the necessary stakeholders to develop a sound concept.

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