Red-flagging and forecast based financing

Dustin Canaglia

"The 2016/2017 rains were building on a baseline of poor rainy seasons.  By November 2016, if the rains had failed, there would have been a catastrophe.  At the time, our logic was that La Nina would cause the rains to fail, but this didn’t happen. While the rains were bad,  some places got decent rain.  it could have been a lot worse.  If the rains hadn’t come then we would have famine in areas where we have no access.  

From the start of October, I was on rain-watch, trying to understand what might happen. We used the seasonal forecast to come up with a percentage of the rains failing (45%) and decided that it was value for money to start safety net activities.  We had existing foundations to build upon and existing resources to roll out a safety net to the most extreme poor.  We also focused on red-flagging vulnerable communities.  If the resilience of a community is eroded then they get hit by a local failed rains then it means catastrophe.  So red-flagging that village means we check in with them all the time and that will impact how we support them through a climate event."