Disaster Preparedness Symposium: How can climate data improve humanitarian relief efforts?

With the use of meteorological data, the first relief efforts can start up even before severe weather ravages a country. But are humanitarian organisations financially and structurally prepared to take on that type of relief? adelphi is discussing these questions on 2-3 November in Berlin.


The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the World Humanitarian Summit represent important international processes that bring into focus the meaning of cooperation on disaster preparedness on different levels. In order to profit from this increased cooperation at both the national and international levels, it is essential that international and national-level disaster preparedness experts can engage in discussion and exchange ideas. Not least the arrival of refugees has shown how important close cooperation between both levels is, even far removed from the actual reduction in natural risks. 

With this in mind, the symposium on disaster preparedness taking place in Berlin on 2 and 3 November offers experts from national and international disaster preparedness bodies an important platform. They will use the eight workshops to discuss current developments, approaches, and measures in their respective fields, while deepening their knowledge and networks with each other. The symposium is supported by the Federal Foreign Office. 

Workshop on forecast-based relief efforts

In order to build a bridge between climate information services and humanitarian planning, adelphi is supporting the workshop "Responding early based on meteorological information: a marketplace to exchange on existing tools and identify challenges". In collaboration with the German Meteorological Service and the German Red Cross, Johara Bellali (adelphi) will pursue the following questions:

  • What methodologies/tools/data do different (humanitarian) organizations use for their risk and vulnerability assessments and preparedness?
  • Which meteorological data (forecasts and/or projections and/or historical data) are used? What would be useful? Which degree of reliability is need for taking actions? What is missing?
  • What is the relevant timeframe for organizations to assess the impact of future climate and other risks?

The German Red Cross is developing, with a range of partners, a system called forecast-based financing (Fbf) in order to bridge the gap between long-term disaster risk reduction (DRR) and relief. Early actions are triggered by medium to short term meteorological forecasting of extreme events.  Which organizations are interested in funding for short to medium term early actions to be taken even before disasters strikes? Where do they see potentials, where challenges?

Many actors are now faced with new vulnerability definitions and are challenged to create adaptation and climate risk programmes based on a new concept from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report (IPCC AR5). The workshop will serve first as an interactive exchange between participants on the tools that they are developing and using, second as a discussion on the challenges faced when accessing and using meteorological data, and will thirdly present the forecast-based financing approach linking early action to extreme events.

More on Disaster Risk Reduction at adelphi.