KORE - Knowledge Sharing Platform on Resilience

Anticipatory action for livelihood protection

A collective endeavour

Key messages:

  • Humanitarian agencies have been making the case for taking action before crises hit, but it is long-term actors (such as governments and service providers) who have responsibility for most anticipatory actions.
  • ‘Anticipatory action’ is usually used to refer to an assistance project with dedicated funding, but other actions are needed to protect livelihoods ahead of a crisis. These include providing information so people can take informed decisions about their own anticipatory actions; investing in preparedness; and redirecting resources away from previously planned interventions towards actions in the same sector that can mitigate a predicted crisis.
  • To achieve the potential benefits, a system-wide change is needed in how anticipatory action is thought about and used, moving from a focus on delivering relief earlier to a nexus approach with shared responsibility between government departments, development partners and humanitarian agencies.
  • Each action needs to be more than just relevant and effective – it needs to be timely. Understanding windows of opportunity is as critical to the success of anticipatory action as determining the kinds of activities that can help reduce human suffering.
  • More attention needs to be paid to understanding the accuracy of weather and crisis forecasts, as the ability to invest resources in advance of a crisis ultimately rests on confidence in these forecasts.


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