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
Cover of Report "Anticipatory Action in Motion"

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
Behavior Change in the Face of Disaster Risk Finance
By Theodore Ezike | September 2022

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
Trauma-Informed Anticipatory Action: Considerations for Refugees and Other Displaced Populations
cover of Trauma Informed Anticipatory Action Brief
By Evan Easton-Calabria | September 2022

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
Air Pollution, Human Health, Weather Events, and Anticipatory Action
Cover of Report on Air Pollution and Anticipatory Action
By Leah B. Poole | September 2022

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
Disaster Risk Financing: An Overview From Lesotho
cover of report about disaster risk financing in Lesotho

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
How Can Social Protection Systems Be Leveraged for Anticipatory Action?
cover of report: how can social protection systems be leverages for anticipatory action?

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.