Local people have a vested interest in acting early to mitigate disaster and crises, although they are often disconnected from the risk information that they need to do this. This disconnect must be addressed if we are to tackle the impacts of climate change expected in coming years.
Anticipatory action allows humanitarians to be better prepared for humanitarian events by analysing and quantifying risks in advance of crises or disasters, pre-positioning funds, and releasing these funds according to pre-agreed protocols. This means having plans, systems and finance in place before a crisis to ensure that adequate finance can flow rapidly and effectively in an emergency, reducing impacts and speeding recovery.
Since 2016, Start Network has been working with humanitarians to mobilise collaboratively and predictably in order to manage risks rather than react to disasters and crises, but the ability of the network to connect at-risk people to the information that they need to act is still a challenge.
In the policy brief Information is Power, Start Network sets out proposals to ensure that local communities have the risk information that they need. Specifically:
• Bring forecasts to the local level: develop forecast information with at-risk people in the driving seat
• Partnerships: prioritise partnerships that seek to connect risk information to local communities
• Political commitment: build the political commitment that is needed to contextualise risk information to local communities