Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks
HNPW 2024 (29 April - 10 May 2024)

Session title: Anticipatory action for disease outbreaks - opportunities and limitations
24 Apr 23 16:00-17:15   (Pleniere E)

Anticipatory action has become a valuable addition to humanitarian action by complementing existing preparedness and response efforts. While most anticipatory action initiatives have to date focused on extreme climate and weather events, there are increasing opportunities to look beyond these and act ahead of other hazards such as disease outbreaks. Many actors (including the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, Médecins Sans Frontières, and UN OCHA) are exploring and have begun piloting the application of the anticipatory action approach to infectious diseases, such as for cholera and malaria outbreaks.

Under the patronage of the Anticipation Hub, partners are jointly advancing the work on anticipating and preventing negative health outcomes. Some of the questions under discussion and exploration include: How does anticipatory action add value to existing epidemic preparedness and response efforts? Which infectious diseases make sense for an anticipatory action approach? Which triggers can inform the activation of early action plans for disease outbreaks and which data is needed?

During the session, the current state of the art will be outlined. The session seeks to improve participants' understanding on the opportunities and limitations of anticipatory action for disease outbreaks and epidemics. By highlighting gaps and by discussing open questions in groups, the session also seeks to ignite collaboration and networking with interested partners across disciplines and sectors.

“Anticipatory actions are a set of actions taken to prevent or mitigate potential disaster impacts before a shock or before acute impacts are felt. The actions are carried out in anticipation of a hazard impact and based on a prediction of how the event will unfold.” (Anticipation Hub)


Draft agenda (tentative)

  1. Opening (5 mins)

  2. Presentation of partners’ position and examples of implementation (25 mins)

  3. Interactive group discussions based around scenarios (25 mins)

  4. Plenary discussion/ feedback (15 mins)

  5. Closing (5mins)


Speakers (tentative)

  • Tilly Alcayna, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

  • Franziska Kellerhaus, German Red Cross

  • Rachel Goodermote, IFRC

  • Léo Tremblay, MSF Canada

  • Juan Chavez-Gonzalez, UN OCHA

This is a public website hosted by the UN OCHA to facilitate information exchange in disaster preparedness and response.
The information on this page is provided by individuals and organizations and does not reflect the views of OCHA or the United Nations.