Consultancy // Feasibility study on Drought Early Action triggers’ development

Closing date


Feasibility study on Drought Early Action triggers’ development

I. Background

This is in reference to the ongoing project of the Philippines Red Cross (PRC) titled “Forecast-based Financing in the Philippines – Phase II”, implemented with the technical support of the German Red Cross (GRC). It is a 29-months project which started in August 2020 and will end in December 2022.

Forecast-based Financing (FbF) is an innovative mechanism considered to reverse the trend of an increasing number of disasters by addressing the gaps between forecasts and relief actions. The project in the Philippines supports the PRC to reinforce its capacities in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, in particular through the planning and the activation of anticipatory humanitarian actions based on accurate forecasts and pre-agreed early action protocols (EAPs). The overall objective is to contribute to the reduction of humanitarian consequences of extreme weather events on the affected population in high-risk areas. Once validated, the EAP is linked to the Disaster Response Emergency Fund for anticipatory actions of the IFRC (called FbA by the DREF) resulting in the automatic flow of funds once its triggers are reached.

The PRC Chapters in most at risk provinces have been progressively prioritized and sensitized about FbF to be prepared for activation in case of an extreme event. To date, the FbF project has been rolled out in a total of 22 high-risk provinces[1] in order to achieve the goal of national scope EAP, which will allow the PRC to be prepared for activation in every part of the country in case an extreme weather event happens. Two EAPs, one for typhoon and one for flood, were developed over the FbF project’s phase I, and are now being operationalized.

A third EAP is now being considered by the Philippines Red Cross to address the risk of drought in the country. During the El Nino episode in 2019, the FbF project launched a small-scale intervention in anticipation of the drought peak in the province of Camarines Sur, thereby already testing different elements of a drought EAP activation with technical inputs from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). One main concern remains around the development of Early Action triggers which should inform when a critical impact of a severe drought is being forecasted, with an acceptable accuracy, and where the impact would be possibly the highest. Studying the feasibility of triggers for drought early actions in the Philippines is an essential pre-requisite before embarking in the writing and testing of a Drought EAP.

[1] The 22 provinces are Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Camarines Norte, Camarines sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, Cebu, North Samar, East Samar, Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan Norte, Agusan Sur, and Davao de Oro.

II. Purpose and Objectives:

The purpose of this consultancy is to support the Philippines Red Cross and its partners defining a trigger methodology for the implementation of Drought early actions, as well as informing on the skills of the forecasts that can be accessed by PRC for predicting the impact of a drought in the Philippines. This should inform eventually on the feasibility of triggering timely drought anticipatory actions in the country.

The main objectives of this consultancy are:

  1. To provide a historical overview of droughts in the Philippines and their main recorded impacts (on people, livestock, agricultural lands, or water resources).
  2. To recommend a methodology for predicting the impact(s) of a drought in the Philippines, taking into account the different climate types in country.
  3. To inform on the various hydrometeorological parameters and forecasts (precipitation, temperature, soil moisture, ground water, etc.) and indices (Vegetation health index, evaporative stress index, else) that can be accessed and used for the triggering of early actions.
  4. To provide an analysis of the skills of the indices, the parameters and the forecasts proposed, especially for a 1 in 5 years event (for example the 2009, or the 2016 droughts).
  5. To confirm the feasibility of triggering drought early actions in the Philippines, and the development of a drought EAP (including suggestion on the areas most at risk).

III. Scope and Focus:

This consultancy shall cover the following, but not be limited to:

  • Overview of historical droughts in the country and recorded impacts

  • List main historical droughts in the Philippines and clarify if it was connected to the occurrence of El Nino.

  • What were the main sectors being impacted during these historical events? Highlight the different impacts in rural and in urban contexts.

  • Generally, what regions/ provinces/ cities are considered the most exposed and most vulnerable to the impacts of drought?
    Propose methodology for predicting drought impact

  • Review the drought EA triggers methodologies available in the Philippines (such as the one developed by the FAO, in collaboration with Department of Agriculture)

  • Evaluate the viability and replicability of the triggers available in the Philippine context

  • Suggest the main parameters, indices and forecasts that could support the prediction of drought occurrences and their impact
    Quality of drought EA triggers

  • Analyse the skills of the parameters and forecasts against the recorded data for past drought events. If the parameters are temporal, include the accuracy versus lead time in the analysis

  • Provide a standard trigger procedure to the PRC

  • Considerations and Recommendations

  • How could this trigger methodology be integrated into PRC existing mechanisms (Operations Center, 510 dashboard)?

  • Recommend way forward to PRC and GRC to develop a drought EAP, especially on the development of the trigger(s) and possible staged actions?

It is essential that the consultant refers to diverse sources of information (National Drought Plan 2019, Drought situation reports, scientific publication, etc.) in the process, using different methodologies like desktop research, online interviews, field visit (if needed), as appropriate.

The consultant(s) may reach out (but not limited to) to FAO, WFP, the START Network, Department of Agriculture (including the Field Programs Operational Planning Division), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), PAGASA.

IV. Consultant Deliverables and Timetable

Different deliverables are expected, as outlined below:

  • A short inception report (max. 6 pages) covering the research design, highlighting key elements of the study,
  • Restitution of results to the PRC and partners towards the end of the consultancy,
  • Final report (maximum 30 pages plus Annexes) incorporating the comments made at the restitution, including at a minimum:

a. Executive Summary
b. Description of the research design and methodology applied, including limitations
c. Detailed presentation of findings with supporting graphs and figures for the development of Drought Early Actions triggers
i. Descriptive overview of main drought events and recorded impacts,
ii. Detailed analysis of methodology that can be applied to predict drought impact in the country,
iii. Detailed analysis of the parameters, indices and forecasts that can be accessed and used,
iv. Analysis of skills / accuracy of parameters, indices, and forecasts
v. Recommendations for the next steps towards developing an EAP

This study is expected to be completed in 30 working days, with below tentative proposed schedule:

Week 1: Familiarization with FbF concept. Inception report. Presentation of study design and Methodology

Week 2 – 4: data gathering and analysis

Week 5: Preparation of initial report findings and presentation to the PRC/GRC team

Week 6: Revision and finalization of report / submission to PRC and GRC

V. Inputs from PRC and Partners

I. PRC staff including the project staff under the FbF project will provide the consultants all needed data which is available at PRC or with partners;

II. PRC and more particularly project staff will provide comments and validation on the inception report / final report.

III. GRC or the Red Cross Climate Center (RCCC) will be available for a skype call to provide additional technical support on inception and final reports, as needed.

VI. Budget

Total budget shall cover all costs that will be incurred by the consultant related to the feasibility study. The consultant is expected to manage the number of days spent as proposed and planned.

Background Requirement

I. Professional Background:

  • Relevant University Degree in related field of study (Research, climatology, hydrometeorology, Agriculture).

  • Has proven knowledge, expertise and experience in formulating quantitative data research.

II. Work, Knowledge, and Experience:

  • Has strong academic and / or work background on development research, preferably in areas affected by natural hazards and human-induced disasters

  • Has the capacity in technical report writing in English, good analytical skills, has understanding in partnership working with government and its partners.

  • Has a strong experience in the Philippines context

How to apply

Application Process

The PRC and GRC invite both individuals and teams which has/have the required capacity identified to apply. The following documents are to be submitted to Damien Riquet: Mail: :

  • Letter of Intent / Application Letter detailing the competencies stated in this ToR

  • Curriculum Vitae of the person(s) which will be assigned for this study

  • Overview of proposal for the study, which contains below, as minimum:

o Methodology

o Workplan

o Detailed price/quotations (incl. daily honorarium inclusive of per diem; travel costs; etc)

  • Portfolio of previous similar work/study

The deadline of submission of proposals will be 15 March 2021.

Please take note that the selection will be made on (but not limited to) the following criteria:

  • Quality of the technical proposal

  • Financial proposal

  • Availability of the consultant