Managing multiple hazards: lessons from anticipatory humanitarian action for climate disasters during COVID-19

Arielle Tozier De La Poterie*, Yolanda Clatworthy, Evan Easton-calabria, Erin Coughlan De Perez, Stefanie Lux, M. Van Aalst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


In the face of climate change, development and humanitarian practitioners increasingly recognize the need to anticipate and manage multiple, concurrent risks. One prominent example of this increasing focus on anticipation is the rapid growth of Forecast-based Financing (FbF), in particular within Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC). To evaluate how anticipatory efforts managed multiple compounding risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, we examine how 14 RCRC Societies adapted their Early Action Protocols to COVID-19. Though many National Societies successfully adapted to the onset of the additional hazard of COVID-19, we find that multi-hazard risk management can be improved by: proactively developing guidelines that enable rapid adaptation of existing plans; more flexible funding mechanisms; surge capacity to provide additional human resources; and increasing local capacity and ownership for implementation to ensure supplies, skills, and decision-making authority are available when communication or travel is restricted. These findings align with wider recommendations for improving development, humanitarian, and climate adaptation practice towards local capacity and agency. They also add urgency to broader calls for more flexible disaster financing and more practitioner-oriented investment in climate risk and multi-hazard management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-388
Number of pages15
JournalClimate and development
Issue number4
Early online date16 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2022




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