Forecast-based Financing (FbF) is a programme that enables access to humanitarian funding for early action based on in-depth forecast information and risk analysis. The goal of FbF is to anticipate disasters, prevent their impact, and reduce human suffering and losses.
FbF implements pre-agreed early actions in the short time between a forecast and the event happening. This means that early actions need to be implemented before a disaster happens in order to reduce the impact on the affected population.
Methodology - Trigger and Early Actions
The Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCCC), together with BDRCS/GRC, and the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) provide the technical lead of the trigger development. The trigger defines the thresholds regarding impact and starts the implementation of the early actions.
The relevant thresholds of forecasts that trigger the early actions are defined in the Early Action Protocol (EAP). The impact-based forecast identifies areas and communities with the highest impact, meaning that the FbF early actions are implemented wherever the impact is highest.
Funding - Forecast-based Action (FbA) by the DREF
In December 2017, the IFRC established the Forecast-based Action (FbA) fund as a dedicated and sustainable financial mechanism, providing a vehicle for donors to support the FbF concept by extending the scope of the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Currently, the FbA by the DREF covers each Early Action Protocol (EAP) with CHF 230,000. National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies have access to immediate, reliable and sustainable funding. This allows early actions to be implemented with partners ahead of a disaster to reduce its impact.
Early Action Protocol for Cyclones
The FbF Early Action Protocol (EAP) for cyclones covers the 13 sea-facing coastal districts in Bangladesh. The pre-identified early actions (see below) can reach up to 20,000 people in the affected area. The lead time for cyclones is 30 hours, this means that the early actions need to be implemented in the 30 hours between a reliable forecast and the cyclone landfall.
Cyclone early actions
The lead time for cyclones is 30 hours. An initial Early Action Protocol (EAP) was developed and the following early actions at the cyclone shelter level have been identified:
The early actions are aimed at reducing the impact by providing people an incentive to evacuate to the cyclone shelters. By providing evacuation transportation for people and livestock, the evacuation ratio can be increased thereby reducing both the loss of life as well as the loss of livelihood due to livestock mortality. Given the short lead time of only 30 hours, the early actions are implemented at the community / cyclone shelter level and not at the household level.
All early actions are context specific! The exact number of cyclone shelters and tractors used depends on a number of factors such as the implementing capacity of BDRCS/CPP in the affected area, the availability of tractors in the area, the road access to shelters, etc. The total number of shelters and beneficiaries covered by this EAP will vary depending on the cyclone landfall area.
Early Action Protocol for Floods
The FbF Early Action Protocol (EAP) for floods covers the Jamuna river basin of Bangladesh. The pre-identified early actions (see below) can reach up to 3500 people in the affected area. For floods there is a 2-stage trigger with 10 and 5 days lead time, this means that preparations for early actions can be taken 10 days before the flood peak, and the implementation of early actions will take place 5 days before the flood peak. The 5 days trigger gives a higher reliability in terms of forecast.
Flood early actions
An initial Early Action Protocol (EAP) was developed and the following early actions at the household and community level have been identified:
In a BDRCS/GRC conducted impact survey, beneficiaries stated that during a flood event they want to evacuate but either have not sufficient money to afford evacuation or there is no transportation available. The early actions are aimed at reducing the flood impact by providing people an unconditional cash grant to take provisions for the flood peak and/or to evacuate themselves with their livestock.
All early actions are context specific! The exact number of beneficiaries receiving cash and the communities targeted by boat evacuation depends on a number of factors such as the implementing capacity of BDRCS in the affected area, the availability of boats during the flood season, etc.