Forecast-based Financing within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: Persisting barriers and ways forward
Abstract: With the introduction of Forecast-based Financing (FbF) in 2013, the ability and incentive to do early action based on forecasting has increased over the last couple of years. In this study eleven semi-structured interviews were conducted with FbF practitioners of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement with the purpose of shedding light on challenges and opportunities associated with the approach. Common understanding and simplified methodology seem to be a precondition for the approach to flourish. While FbF is paving the way towards wider usage of anticipatory action and a more flexible funding system, there are still challenges in terms of: taking early actions based on a probability, forecasting capacity, timely release of funding enabling early actions, and establishing sound collaboration with local authorities. Within the National Societies, the difficulty of grasping FbF and the unequal distribution of capacities at local branches are key challenges to FbF implementation. These challenges could be addressed by mainstreaming FbF into DRR programs, capacity strengthening efforts through trainings and investments in organizational development. The ownership over funding and choice of the early actions and triggers still lies to a large extent within the supporting RCRC partners. One of the upcoming tests for the sustainability of the approach is to ensure that ownership of the process rests within host National Societies and governmental entities, given their contextual knowledge and everlasting mandate to alleviate suffering in their country. Further, evidence over the cost-effectiveness of timelier humanitarian action is needed to increase the limited funding.
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