Advances in forecasting and technology promise more effective early warning systems for natural hazards. What stands between disaster alert and action, and how can the impact of early warning tools be enhanced?
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The Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action is a collective response from the humanitarian sector to improve humanitarian performance through increased learning and accountability.
Using member expertise, it produces tools and analysis relating to activities and performance within the humanitarian sector. As part of its focus on shared learning, the website publishes many interesting 'lessons learned' papers. It also has a series of learning and accountability portals to facilitate this, where members can share information on evaluation and learning activities.
A project of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, AlertNet is a news aggregator that aims to raise awareness of humanitarian crises around the globe, particularly 'forgotten' emergencies that rarely make headlines. It publishes news from over 400 aid agencies and other media outlets across a range of topics, from natural disasters to climate change to health. AlertNet also provides tools for journalists, including facts and figures, crisis briefings and training modules.
The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) is a non-governmental organisation based in Gujarat, India. It is a community-based action research, action planning and action advocacy organisation.
AIDMI works towards bridging the gap between policy, practice and research related to disaster risk mitigation and reduction. As an operational as well as learning organisation it is able to link local communities with national and international policies of relief and long-term recovery.
The website hosts information about AIDMI's activities as well as its global initiatives. There is also a section on the institute's future outlook, which includes risk reduction, knowledge management, disaster response and policy advocacy.
The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) is an independent centre in the Asia and Pacific Region, working towards disaster risk reduction (DRR) and sustainable development.
It promotes disaster awareness, the development of local capabilities, and institutionalised disaster management and mitigation policies.
Specific areas of work include risk assessment, mainstreaming DRR into development processes, urban risk management, and climate change risk management. The ADPC conducts regular regional, national, and local training courses for governments, scientists, and humanitarian policymakers alike.
The website hosts details on the centre's thematic focus and core programmes, as well as information on training and information and knowledge management.
The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) aims to support decision-makers in designing and delivering 'climate compatible' development.
They attempt to do this by combining research, advisory services, resources, and knowledge management in support of locally owned and managed policy processes.
They have worked in partnership with decision-makers in the public, private and non-governmental sectors nationally, regionally and globally.
The website provides details on key research areas, past and ongoing projects, as well as research calls for future work.
The primary aim of the emBRACE (Building Resilience Amongst Communities in Europe) project is to build resilience to disasters amongst European communities.
To achieve this, the organisation combines research knowledge, networking and practices. It believes that more coherent scientific approaches will only be produced through collaboration. emBRACE is currently developing indicators and indicator systems to measure resilience concerning natural disaster events in Europe.
The website contains details of the project's work packages and methods, as well as a series of case studies.
The Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian (ELRHA) network is dedicated to supporting partnerships between higher education institutions and humanitarian organisations.
It aims to stimulate and support research and training that delivers measurable impact in the prevention of and response to global humanitarian crises.
ELRHA aims to both build academic capacity as well as ensure that UK academia is effectively linked to our broader international agenda. It has a particular focus on building collaborative partnerships with universities within the UK.
On the website there are details of the partnerships that the network has fostered, as some of its outcomes. In addition, information can be found on the joint ELRHA and ALNAP (Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action) programme, and the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, which provides grants to support organisations and individuals to identify and share innovative solutions to the challenges facing operational agencies in the humanitarian crises.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) — funded by the United States Agency for International Development — collaborates with international, regional and national partners to provide timely early warning and vulnerability information on emerging and evolving food security issues.
FEWS NET monitors and analyses relevant data and information, and uses a suite of communications and decision support products to help decision-makers act to mitigate food insecurity. These products include monthly food security updates for 25 countries, regular food security outlooks, and alerts, as well as briefings and support to contingency and response planning efforts.
More in-depth studies in areas such as livelihoods and markets provide additional information to support analysis as well as program and policy development.
FEWS NET focuses its efforts on strengthening early warning and food security networks, by developing capacity, building and strengthening networks, developing policy-useful information, and building consensus around food security problems and solutions.
The website acts as a platform for announcing food security conditions all over the world, and contains many analytical reports and policy briefs.
The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) is a university-wide centre providing expertise in public health, medicine, social science, management, and other disciplines to promote evidence-based approaches to humanitarian assistance.
HHI's aim is to advance the science and practice of humanitarian action worldwide so as to reduce the impacts of disasters.
Its Program on Crisis Mapping and Early Warning examines the use of information communications technologies in conflict and disaster settings. Research focuses on identifying patterns in humanitarian emergencies to improve warning and response. Specifically, HHI undertakes extensive examination of the use of crisis mapping, geospatial and crowd sourcing technologies to prepare, mitigate, and respond to emergencies.
The website showcases the initiative's work, as well as making a number of programme publications and working papers available.
The Humanitarian Futures programme (HFP), based at King's College University, London, aims to support those with humanitarian responsibilities to develop organisational structures and leadership skills to become more adaptive and to effectively engage and collaborate with all necessary actors.
The programme's objective is to strengthen anticipation of evolving and emerging threats and to identify the technological, scientific, social and political innovations that will allow longer-term speculation as to future trends as well as the capacities needed to manage widening vulnerability and increasing humanitarian demands.
The website contains a number of tools and resources, including HFP and external publications, and key definitions, as well as upcoming events and a discussion forum.
The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) is an international and inter-governmental institution, owned and managed by its Member States, for the generation and application of early warning information.
RIMES evolved in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, to establish a regional early warning system within a multi-hazard framework and capacity building for preparedness and response to trans-boundary hazards.
It monitors and analyses seismic, sea level and deep ocean data, as well as providing earthquake alerts and regional tsunami bulletins. It also provides short term extreme weather information and long term seasonal climate estimations to National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. Finally, it also identifies risk management options and develops decision support tools.
The website is divided into six sections: societal application; earthquake & tsunami; weather & extreme events; water-related hazards; seasonal climate; and climate change. It provides an earthquake monitor, tsunami bulletins, and flood and drought forecasts, as well as a number of resources including papers, publications and newsletters.