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AA Webinar IV - Anticipatory Action for livelihood protection and food security: From reactive to preventive approaches to crises

©FAO/Haji Dirir

This webinar is organised with support from the European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office.

Anticipatory Action (AA) webinar seriesAnticipatory Action for livelihood protection and food security: Concepts and practices for a system-wide shift from reactive to preventive approaches to crises

19 November 2020 – 14.00 - 15.30 CET (UTC/GMT +1)

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  • Simon Levine, Senior Research Fellow, Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
  • Daniel Molla, Chief Technical Adviser, FAO Somalia/FSNAU 
  • Johanna Erhardt, Senior Emergency and Rehabilitation Officer, FAO Office of Emergencies and Resilience
  • Dominik Semet, Programme Coordinator, Forecast-based Action Programme, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe
  • Halima Saado Abdillahi, Head of Research and Learning, International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA), Kenya Red Cross Society
  • Hugh MacLeman, Global Network Against Food Crises


  • Dunja Dujanovic, Early Warning Early Action Lead, FAO

The term ‘anticipatory action’ refers to actions triggered before a crisis in order to mitigate the worst effects, or even avoid a crisis altogether. The timing of livelihood protection actions for an impending crisis is critical: decision dates do not work if they are based on the observed seriousness of the crisis, and if funding and action cannot be mobilised quickly. Rather, the timing should be determined by the livelihood calendar or timeline. Therefore, understanding windows of opportunity is as critical to the success of anticipatory action as determining the kinds of activity that can help reduce human suffering.

Notable progress has been made in the past years on anticipatory action. A number of organizations - such as the Food and Agiruclture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the START Network – have successfully worked with national counterparts for linking early warning to anticipatory action through pre-arranged financing, with encouraging results in terms of livelihood protection and crisis prevention. The approach is currently being scaled up in humanitarian settings through an inter-agency collaboration led by OCHA.

Now a system-wide change is needed to achieve the full benefits of anticipatory action for livelihood protection, moving towards a nexus approach with shared responsibility between government departments, development partners and humanitarian agencies. A recent paper by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) provides key strategic and technical recommendations in this regard.

Against this background, the webinar specifically aims to:

        Provide an overview of the concept of anticipatory action for livelihood protection, with specific focus on the issue of crisis timelines and related windows of opportunity for anticipatory action.

        Share lessons learned from the field on the implementation of anticipatory actions before the peak of slow onset hazards.

        Trigger reflections on the role of anticipatory action along the humanitarian-development nexus

        Discuss the concrete next steps to improve collaboration between government, academia, development and humanitarian actors towards a decisive shift from reactive to preventive approaches to crises.

Vidéo du wébinaire

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