Red Cross Red Crescent FbF Practitioners Manual
The Forecast-based Financing (FbF) Practitioners Manual has been developed based on the lessons and experience of FbF projects, making this manual a living document. As FbF grows, so too will the good practices and sub-chapters offered.
In this section you will have access to all the FbF Manual chapters
A Feasibility Study (FS) is the first step in the process to establish an FbF system in a country, or when considering addressing additional hazards in a country where there is already an operational FbF system. The FS is a rapid collection and assessment of information to make recommendations as to under what conditions FbF is viable in a specific country, and to begin exploring different design options for the FbF system, including choice of hazard(s) and risks to address, involved institutions, local buy-in, available forecasts and vulnerability and exposure data, possible actions, and so forth.
Advocacy and communication are integral to forging well-balanced partnerships with clear and reciprocal responsibilities between respective governments and National Societies. As with many RCRC projects and programs, advocacy is a central tool to reach decision-makers, donors, and policy makers. As pioneering practitioners of FbF, National Societies are well positioned to lead FbF advocacy efforts, and design FbF programs tailored to national and subnational DRM contexts in close collaboration with government agencies and other stakeholders.
FbF is only as strong as the National Society supporting it. One important part of FbF is the development of EAPs, which requires a certain set of knowledge and skills that should be built within National Societies engaging in FbF. However, EAPs can only have an impact if the National Society is ready to implement them at any given time, within the short time frame available and in many different areas. This requires extensive capacity development, establishment or adjustment of procedures and equipment. In short, the National Society should be “FbF ready”.
The development of the Early Action Protocol is the central activity and output of FbF. The EAP contains information on triggers, early actions and funding allocation, and describes the step-by-step process for the implementation of early actions once a trigger is hit. Similar to Standard Operating Procedues (SOP), it defines clearly who takes action when, where, and with what funds.
Setting triggers is one of the cornerstones of the Forecast-based Financing system. For a National Society to have access to automatically released funding for their early actions, their Early Action Protocol needs to clearly define where and when funds will be allocated, and assistance will be provided. In FbF, this is decided according to specific threshold values, so-called triggers, based on weather and climate forecasts, which are defined for each region.
Early actions are at the heart of Forecast-based Financing and each Early Action Protocol. The ideal early action is one, which has the best chance of helping the population at risk to reduce the negative impacts of an extreme event. The process of identifying impacts, prioritizing those that can and should be addressed by FbF, and identifying early actions that can prevent or mitigate these priority impacts, is therefore central to the development of a strong EAP.
Forecast-based Financing (FbF) is a relatively new concept with potential to reduce disaster impacts through increased use of available science to inform decision-making. Since FbF is in its early stages of implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and learning are crucial to measure the effectiveness of the approach and to adjust where necessary. As building evidence and adjusting the system where needed is so important in these early stages of FbF, each activation of an Early Action Protocol should be used to collect data to that effect and document learnings.
Once the development of an EAP has been finalized, it needs to be put to the test to ensure the early actions identified are feasible in the lead time foreseen and roles and responsibilities in case of an activation are clear. Simulations and drills are crucial to testing the effectiveness of plans, protocols, guidelines, and the capacity of those responsible for carrying out early actions. This chapter outlines two types of approaches available, applications of both to FbF EAPs, and steps necessary for their implementation. The guidance material presented below has been adapted from the Pan American Health Organization Guidelines for Developing Emergency Simulations and Drills (PAHO, 2011).
Once an EAP has been developed, tested and approved by the leadership of the National Society, it needs to ensure that funding is available reliably and quickly, once a trigger has been reached. For Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, the key financial mechanism available to fund the activities included in their Early Action Protocols is the Forecast-based Action (FbA) by the DREF, which was launched in May 2018.
The activation of the EAP is the culmination of all the work that went into making a National Society FbF ready, developing the EAP and getting it approved. With the EAP in place and the FbF system set up, ideally there are no more decisions to take; once the trigger is hit, the activation of the EAP can begin. Everyone involved should know what will be done where at what moment and by whom.
“The process of developing an FbF mechanism within the National Society requires a high level of commitment. Based on National Society experience to date, the entire process, from initial commitment to FbF, developing and validating an Early Action Protocol, trainings and set-up of systems and procedures for EAP implementation takes around one and a half to two years. Ideally for this process, the National Society will draw on the support of Partner National Societies, Regional FbF focal points and IFRC.”
The FbF Practitioner Manual is the result of years of learning, it aims to capture best practices, process, and examples from the Red Cross Red Crescent FbF projects.