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Academic Alliance for Anticipatory Action
For many years, scientists have been able to effectively predict disasters before they happen. Despite this, the humanitarian community has not yet figured out how to respond to disasters before they happen. In recent years, the humanitarian sector began implementing anticipatory action mechanisms, which mean that actors are trying to act “smarter” and earlier to reduce the impact of disasters on vulnerable people, thereby saving lives and reducing human suffering.
While there is huge ambition within the humanitarian sector, we do not yet know what anticipatory action mechanisms work, where, and why. The evidence gaps relate to nutrition, social protection, fragile contexts, disaster risk finance, drought, vulnerability, famine, and climate change. For example, we do not yet know if distributing shelter reinforcement materials protects people from cyclone impacts, or if such distributions encourage people to shelter in more dangerous situations than they would without the materials thereby causing greater loss of life. Before we continue to fund and implement such programs, we need better evidence.
The Academic Alliance for Anticipatory Action (4As) is a global consortium of universities (see Partners tab) that will develop the evidence base on anticipatory action. This will be done in collaboration with humanitarian agencies that are implementing anticipatory action, including the Red Cross, WFP, OCHA and START Network. 4As is supported by the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance under cooperative agreement 720BHA21CA00044.
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
Makerere University, Uganda
National University of Lesotho
University of Namibia
University of the Philippines
Anticipatory Action in Motion: Recapping the most recent evidence and illuminating a pathway forward
This anticipatory action landscape brief summarizes what has been published on anticipatory action since 2020 and what progress has been made on existing recommendations.Read More
Disaster Risk Finance (DRF) mechanisms are relatively new in anticipatory action. This paper explores how DRF can affect individual behavior or risk perception.Read More
This brief builds on the existing body of knowledge on trauma-informed practice to explore ways that anticipatory action for displaced populations can be improved.Read More
This paper explains the connection between air pollution and climate change and considers how anticipatory action can address the impact of air pollution.Read More
This brief examines Lesotho, a small country in southern Africa that is highly vulnerable to climate hazards, is equipped to make use of DRF.Read More
This literature review examines social protection systems in hazard-prone countries to make recommendations on how these systems could be best used to inform or implement anticipatory action.Read More
The 4As team is regularly contributing research and commentary to publications and websites around the globe.
- “Raising the profile of climate-induced displaced people in cities” by Evan Easton-Calabria in Fletcher Forum of World Affairs (2022)
- “Anticipatory action with refugees and other displaced people: what needs to be considered?” by Evan Easton-Calabria on the Anticipation Hub (2022)
- “Combining Computational and Archival Methods to Study International Organizations: Refugees and the International Labour Organization, 1919–2015” by William L Allen and Evan Easton-Calabria in International Studies Quarterly (2022)
“Do humanitarian agencies help refugees become independent? Evidence from history” by Evan Easton-Calabria in The Conversation (2022)
- “The effectiveness of forecast-based humanitarian assistance in anticipation of extreme winters: a case study of vulnerable herders in Mongolia” by Clemens Gros, Evan Easton-Calabria, Meghan Bailey, Kadirbyek Dagys, Erin Coughlan de Perez, Munguntuya Sharavnyambuu, Andrew Kruczkiewicz in Disasters (2022)
- “Epidemiological versus meteorological forecasts: Best practice for linking models to policymaking” by Erin Coughlan de Perez, Elisabeth Stephens, Maartenvan Aalst, Juan Bazo, Eleonore Fournier-Tombs, Sebastian Funk, Jeremy J.Hess, Nicola Ranger, Rachel Lowe in International Journal of Forecasting (2022)