11th global dialogue platform on anticipatory action underway in Berlin

11th global dialogue platform on anticipatory action underway in Berlin
10 October 2023

By the Climate Centre

The three-day 11th global dialogue platform (register) on anticipatory humanitarian action got underway in Berlin today as a hybrid event, with the theme People at the centre: scaling up anticipatory action.

There is an in-person conference and a live studio in the German capital, as well as virtual sessions involving participants from around the world.

The platform – supported by the German Federal Foreign Office – is hosted by the Anticipation Hub, a joint initiative of the German Red Cross, the IFRC and the Climate Centre; it’s organized jointly with the FAO, the WFP, the Start Network and OCHA.

At least 3.6 million people in 30 countries were reached through anticipatory action last year, with at least 56 organizations engaged, organizers say.

Yet an overview report last year made clear that “anticipatory action is not yet being implemented at a scale commensurate to the opportunities it offers, nor for the needs faced by those at risk,” the dialogue platform concept note says.

The dialogue platform this year will centre “on how to increase the inclusivity of anticipatory action and ensure that the people affected by predictable hazards are at its centre … examining this question from the technical, policy and financial perspectives,” it adds.

‘Systemic shift’

Past platforms have included include senior managers, policy-makers, practitioners, scientists and experts drawn from the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, the UN, NGOs, governments, donors, academia, and the private and financial sectors.

Germany committed to spending 5 per cent of its humanitarian budget for 2023 on anticipatory action, and other G7 nations have also promised to significantly increase financing; the IFRC, the Start Network, OCHA, FAO and WFP are also expanding their commitments.

“However, this has not yet led to a systemic shift in funding and, as a consequence, anticipatory action is still not reaching enough of the people who it can protect,” the concept note adds.

At least 84 per cent of local actors also report not being included in relevant assessments, and “women in particular often lack access to risk information and are not meaningfully engaged in decision-making processes.”

The concept note also quotes last year’s State of the Humanitarian System report by the ALNAP network saying: “There is evidence for the effectiveness of anticipatory action, but the more critical question – is anticipatory action more effective (or cost-effective) than traditional post-crisis response? – has been difficult to answer due to the inability to make any meaningful comparison across crises or responses.”

The 11th global dialogue platform will host two specialist workshops organized by the German-supported Global Shield Against Climate Risk and leading agencies of the UN Early Warning For All initiative.  

Christof Johnen, German Red Cross Director of International Cooperation, opens the Dialogue Platform in Berlin. Behind him, a tapestry-inspired artwork created by Climate Centre artist Rekeba Ryvola “as both a symbol for the collaborative weaving that will happen … and a visual representation of a people-centred vision for the future.” (Image: Rebeka Ryvola/Climate Centre)