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Research consultancy on government-led anticipatory action

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Organizational context

Anticipatory action is increasingly recognized as a key solution to reduce the impacts of climate- and weather-related hazards. By developing pre-agreed plans with agreed triggers for action (based on risk analysis and forecast) tied to pre-arranged financing, the approach enables action ahead of a disaster, at the right time, to reduce the potential negative impact of hazards on people, assets and livelihoods.

There is now clear evidence that anticipatory action is expanding in scale globally. The Anticipation Hub's Anticipatory Action in 2023: A Global Overview report revealed that 125 organizations worldwide were engaged in developing anticipatory action frameworks in 2023, either as a coordinator or a partner. The report identified 107 active anticipatory action frameworks across 47 countries. A further 133 frameworks were being developed in 68 countries, for 19 different hazards. Compared to 2022, these figures represent a 43 per cent increase in the number of people covered by frameworks; and a 37 per cent increase in the number of frameworks being developed. Several factors contributed to these positive trends, including the increasingly central role played by Governments in driving anticipatory action at the national level.

Progress in adapting national disaster risk management systems to incorporate anticipatory action is reported in countries including Bangladesh, Ecuador, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sierra Leone.

Anticipatory action is most impactful and sustainable if mainstreamed into national planning and budgeting processes. As such, supporting government leadership, endorsement, and institutionalization of this approach within disaster risk management laws, policies, operational plans and procedures is an important responsibility of anticipatory action actors. This has been broadly recognized by the inter-agency Anticipatory Action Task Force and is included as a key operative paragraph in the draft resolution tabled for endorsement at the October 2024 International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

In the context of IFRC's role in leading Pillar 4 (Preparedness to respond to warnings) of the Early Warnings for All (EW4All) initiative, as well as the resolution on anticipatory action tabled for endorsement at the 34th International Conference (IC34) of the Red Cross and Red Crescent which includes an operative paragraph encouraging States to integrate anticipatory action into their domestic frameworks and systems relating to DRM and climate change and calling on Red Cross Red Crescent Movement components to support this process, this consultancy aims to conduct research on government-led anticipatory action and the integration of anticipatory action into domestic systems, as well as the role of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (NS) in supporting governments.

Some examples of government-led anticipatory action have been included in the recent Anticipation Hub Overview Report and REAP State of Play reports, however there is a need for enhanced understanding on how anticipatory action could be integrated in national systems, how anticipatory action has been integrated to date, and what has been / could be the role of National Societies, as auxiliaries to public authorities, to support such integration.

Job purpose

The objectives of this research consultancy are:

  • To unpack how anticipatory action could be integrated in domestic frameworks and systems related to DRM, early warning and climate change (i.e. How/where exactly could it be integrated? What are the entry points?) and which Ministry/department has the mandate as well as which others are involved) - e.g.:
    • 1) legal and policy frameworks (across DRM, National Adaptation Plans, budget allocation, etc.)
    • 2) operational procedures (e.g. Contingency and Response plans)
    • 3) analysis and planning
    • 4) operational capacities strengthening (e.g. training volunteers, strengthening early warnings, forecast skills, logistics supply chain, others)
    • 5) coordination
  • To research the state of play in terms of which governments have integrated anticipatory action into their domestic DRM systems, considered leveraging social protection systems, and how (i.e. What is existing practice? Best practices?) - e.g. in which law or plan has anticipatory action been integrated?
  • To assess the legal, institutional, financial, operational and technical measures/practices that facilitate or hinder government scale-up on anticipatory action.
  • To identify gaps and challenges in current practices and propose strategies for overcoming barriers and lessons learnt in government-led anticipatory action.
  • To assess the involvement to date of key institutions, notably Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies but also international and regional organizations, in supporting countries to integrate anticipatory action in their national and local DRM systems.
  • To explore the challenges and opportunities for enhancing collaboration between governments and National Societies in anticipatory action efforts.
  • To provide recommendations for how National Societies can support government-led anticipatory action, and how the IFRC network can support National Societies to play this role.


  • Review existing literature, policies, and best practices related to government-led anticipatory action, including but not limited to those with the involvement of Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies where applicable. The consultant will receive an initial list of existing research and recommendations, but s/he will likely need to conduct additional literature searches to ensure a comprehensive review.
  • Conduct interviews and consultations with key stakeholders including the Anticipation Hub, REAP, global Anticipatory Action Task Force (AATF) members and IFRC regional coordinators to capture efforts not yet captured in the literature.
  • Based on the above literature review and interviews, and a list of indicators provided by IFRC, identify 5 countries across regions, considering different levels of maturity, for country-level deep dives.
  • For these 5 countries, conduct more in-depth desk-top research along with interviews and consultations with relevant stakeholders, including government officials, National Society representatives, disaster risk management agencies, and international organizations.
  • Through (an) interactive workshop(s), obtain feedback on the draft reports.


  1. Inception report/workplan: Outline of the work plan and proposed timeline for the tasks and deliverables listed in this TOR, including proposed moments for Advisory Committee meetings.
  2. Draft two reports:
    1. Comprehensive 'state of play' report that presents analysis of findings, including key observations, challenges, and recommendations related to the integration of anticipatory action in national DRM systems (related to objectives 1-4). The report should include the following sections, to be adjusted as relevant and based on discussions with the project lead: 1) global overview based on literature review; 2) deep dive on target countries; 3) summary of findings.
    2. A more internally facing document focused on the role of local, regional and international partners, with a focus on National Societies, in supporting the integration of AA in national systems to date, and recommendations for the future (related to objectives 5-7).
  3. Final report: Revised version of the reports based on workshop and written feedback from key stakeholders and reviewers.
  4. Executive summary and presentation slides: Concise summary highlighting the main findings and recommendations for National Societies, anticipatory action communities and other stakeholders.

Timeframe and days

The consultancy is expected to last approximately 110 days in the period June-December 2024.

Three key milestones for the presentation of findings from the research include the Global Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Action on 22-24 October 2024, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Statutory Meetings on 27-31 October 2024 and COP29 on 11-22 November 2024. While the full scope of work may not be finished by then, IFRC will be keen to showcase key findings gathered by then.

Management of consultancy

The consultant will report to the IFRC Anticipatory Action Coordinator and Global Disaster Preparedness Center and maintain regular communication throughout the review process. Progress updates, including interim findings and draft deliverables, will be shared in a timely manner.

Working modalities

The consultant will raise any important issues to IFRC for decision (e.g. in terms of any proposed changes in the focus of the assignment or deliverables, the expected duration, end of assignment etc).

A recurrent meeting will be set up with the consultant to discuss progress, plans and challenges and for any strategic decisions to be taken.

An Advisory Committee will be set up to provide feedback at agreed key milestones. It will include relevant representatives from IFRC (DRR & Resilience team and Disaster Law team), the Anticipation Hub, REAP and AATF.

Any communication by the consultant with National Societies will copy relevant IFRC colleagues, including from the IFRC country/cluster delegation and regional office.

Qualifications and expertise

The consultant should possess the following qualifications and expertise:

  • Demonstrated experience and expertise in disaster risk management, early warning systems, anticipatory action, and humanitarian response, preferably within the context of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  • Strong analytical skills and experience in conducting research.
  • Demonstrated experience conducting interviews/collecting data with diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Experience in legislative systems, government policy and planning.
  • Excellent communication skills, including an ability to write clearly and concisely.
  • Excellent facilitation skills, with the ability to engage effectively with diverse stakeholders.
  • Familiarity with international standards and best practices in anticipatory action and disaster risk management is desirable.
  • Fluency (written and spoken) in English - additional language skills preferred (preferably Spanish, French)

Application instructions

  • Please submit your application in English only.
  • In your CV, please include
    • Names of 3 references.
    • In the same document, two examples of reports recently completed in which you were the primary or sole author/researcher.
    • In the same document, a short proposal with no more than 5 pages, detailing:
      • Understanding of the consultancy;
      • Suggestions on how to ensure the report meets Partner needs;
      • How the applicant meets the qualifications and experience requirements; and
      • Estimated budget, including professional fees and all expenses.

Financial proposal should be based on a Lump Sum Amount. The total amount quoted shall be all-inclusive and include all costs components required to perform the deliverables identified in the TOR, including professional fee, travel costs, living allowance (if any work is to be done outside the Individual Consultant´s duty station) and any other applicable cost to be incurred by the Individual Consultant in completing the assignment. The contract price will be fixed output-based price regardless of extension of the herein specified duration. Payments will be done upon completion of the deliverables/outputs.

IFRC shall not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the Individual Consultant wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.

In the event of unforeseeable travel that is not anticipated in this TOR, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between IFRC and the Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed.

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