RC/RCCC Notes From the Field: Get to know “Forecast-based Financing” and the City of Acacias Maputo, Mozambique

Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre Internship Program
by Juhri Selamet

Maputo, Mozambique
May 31, 2017

Juhri Selamet is the 2018 Junior Researcher in the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCRCCC) program. He is a PhD student in the College of Media, Communication and Information at University of Colorado Boulder. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests are visual communication, corporate social responsibility, climate change, water, conservation, media coverage of risk and the environment, and strategic environmental communication. 

View photo gallery in the field by Juhri Selamet

According to Kreft & Melchior (2016), Mozambique is the third most vulnerable African country to extreme weather events such as floods, tropical cyclones, and droughts. This country’s vulnerability is associated with its geographical location, downstream of nine major river basins in the southeast of the African continent. With climate change, these extreme events are expected to increase in frequency and magnitude. For instance, in the last three decades, there has been a rise in both the frequency and intensity of natural disasters in Mozambique, with droughts, floods, and tropical cyclones being the most frequent (INGC, 2009).

Considering that about 80% of the Mozambican population depends on agriculture and fisheries, two sectors highly affected by extreme climate events, the country needs to be better prepared to deal with the impacts of these extreme events (FAO.org, 2018). Taking this into account, Mozambique Red Cross (Cruz Vermelha Moçambique-CVM), in coordination with its international partners, German Red Cross (GRC) and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center (RCRCCC), designed the project entitled ‘Forecast-based Financing (FbF): closing the gap between disaster risk reduction and emergency relief, Mozambique.” The FbF project, which is in Second pilot phase in Mozambique, represents a new paradigm in humanitarian aid. The project calls for proactive measures to be taken before the materialization of extreme events.

The concept of FbF (soon to be called Forecast-based Action by the DREF) is a mechanism coupled to risk-based operating procedures. Based on the successes and failures of previous efforts to act based on climate-based early warning information, it elaborates three components of a system for early warnings to become operational: (1) information about worthwhile actions, (2) available funding mechanisms, and (3) designated entities that are responsible for taking the pre-planned actions. A systematic forecast-based financing (FbF) system integrates each of these three elements, contingent on the availability of (skillful) forecasts for the region in question (Coughlan de Perez et al. 2015).

As part of University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) and Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCRCC) internship program this summer, my project aims to support Cruz Vermelha Moçambique (CVM) and German Red Cross (GRC) on developing a Forecast-based Financing (FbF) beneficiary communication strategy and assist CVM and GRC in design and layout of FbF project materials (EAP protocols, reports, website, and activation posters). In term of developing practical communication materials, I will focus on visual aids and information designed to communicate the FbF project as well as CVM publications in general for the local audiences. Through this work, I wish to produce a set of strategic communication tools and employ the theory of change as a framework in the context both to evaluate and provide communication plans. This theory is essentially a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why the desired change is expected to happen in a particular context (theoryofchange.org) in which here is in the humanitarian and environmental communication context. Previously, the theory of change has been used to support and evaluate health promotion intervention (Warwick-Booth et al., 2014). Read more …

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