Working group on anticipatory action and health

Many anticipatory action initiatives to date have focused on extreme climate and weather events, but there are increasing opportunities to look beyond these and act ahead of other hazards. These include disease outbreaks and epidemics, which are drivers of immense human suffering and loss, with major socio-economic impacts. The COVID-19 pandemic has also amplified the need to consider the compounding and exacerbating impacts on vulnerabilities when multiple hazards - such as epidemics and climate change - coincide.

Technological progress in scientific modelling and forecasting systems are enabling better predictions of who, how, when and where people might be affected by disease outbreaks and epidemics. These advances are providing increased opportunities to develop, implement and expand anticipatory action approaches for health, for example to anticipate cholera epidemics or dengue outbreaks.

Working Group


The Red Cross Red Crescent working group on anticipatory action and health seeks to advance the work being done on anticipating and preventing negative health outcomes within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. It aims to:

  • strengthen, in a more systematic way, the Movement’s knowledge exchange, practice and tools on anticipating and preventing negative health and nutritional outcomes
  • foster improved collaboration within the Movement around this theme.
  • build the evidence base and practice on effective anticipatory action for health and nutrition, with the ambition to develop early action protocols for specific health risks.

The working group will build on the valuable work done by many National Societies worldwide, particularly with regard to outbreak preparedness and response, while seeking to identify and capitalize on the opportunities provided by the anticipatory action mechanism to prevent adverse health outcomes and reduce human suffering.


The working group is hosted by the Anticipation Hub and co-chaired by the Climate Centre and the German Red Cross.


Membership is open to staff across the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement working in disaster risk reduction, health, water, sanitation and health (WASH), anticipatory action and any related field.


Please get in touch with the co-chairs below for more information about joining the working group.

Tilly Alcayna

technical advisor - health and climate change

Climate Centre

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Franziska Kellerhaus

lead - health cluster

German Red Cross

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While this working group is focused on the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, another multi-agency working group around health and anticipatory action, co-chaired by Médecins Sans Frontières and the Climate Centre, will be launched in 2022. Please reach out to co-chair Tilly Alcayna if you would like more information.

Knowledge resources on health and anticipatory action