EGU23-17551, updated on 25 Apr 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Testing Effectiveness of Forecast Based Financing as Compared to Traditional Emergency Response: A Case Study of West Pokot County -Kenya

Naomi Wambui Ng’ang’a1, Halima Saado Abdillahi2, Sarah Nduku Nzau1, and Zachary Mwambi Misiani1
Naomi Wambui Ng’ang’a et al.
  • 1International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs|Kenya Red Cross Society
  • 2Umma University

Extreme weather events such as floods and droughts annually affect thousands of people in Kenya disproportionally affecting the poor, elderly, disabled, women and children. Currently, natural disaster response is frequently reactive rather than proactive resulting in increased suffering among the most vulnerable, high response costs and duplication of efforts among humanitarian actors. Forecast based financing (FbF) can play a critical role in mitigating disaster impacts. Less evidence however, is documented about the effectiveness of implementing FBF compared to traditional emergency response. In 2019, Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in partnership with National FbF Technical Working Group (TWG) began developing National Flood and drought Early Action Protocols (EAP). The goal was to minimise potential damage and loss of life by acting early, before the hazard reached its peak. In 2021, the drought EAP was activated after attaining trigger thresholds indicating below average seasonal rainfall for October-November-December rains. This provided a good opportunity for real-time testing of effectiveness of the selected/prioritised early actions.

This paper presents findings of a study conducted to compare the effectiveness of FBF to emergency response a case study of West Pokot County where the drought EAP was activated. The study adopted quasi-experiment approach to measure different outcomes between beneficiary households of AA and Control group/Emergency Response beneficiaries of similar vulnerability.

A total of 388 respondents participated in the survey where 260 were beneficiaries of AA while 128 were non-beneficiaries. With regards to food security, 24.6% of the AA beneficiaries sampled obtained food from own production compared to 17.2% non-beneficiaries. Few (8.5%) AA beneficiaries borrowed food from relatives compared to 13.3% of the non-beneficiaries. More (41.8%) children under-five from AA beneficiary households had three meals and some food/snack in between compared to 31.6% from non-beneficiary households. Very few (25.4%) adults from AA households ate only one meal compared to 35.2% from non-beneficiary households. The coping strategy index for the AA beneficiaries was (3.1) while for the non-beneficiaries was (3.8).

In addressing water scarcity, more (11.6%) beneficiaries’ households had access to borehole water compared to 7.7% non-beneficiaries. Distance to water sources was higher among the non-beneficiary where 52.5% non-beneficiaries spend between 30 mins-1hour to collect water compared to 43.0% beneficiaries. Beneficiaries noted changes that came as a result of the AA in water to be: reduction in water borne diseases cases (5.0%); access to cleaner/safer water (96.7%); reduced amount of money spent on water (8.3%); meals prepared regularly (12.4%) and improved hygiene (38.8%).

Lessons documented included: Community participation and stakeholder coordination are essential for the successful implementation of AA. To ensure timely implementation of AA, it is necessary to combine community knowledge of seasons with scientific forecasts and streamline institutional readiness. Flexible funding is the most effective way to take early action in the window of opportunity between forecast and disaster.

Study findings show that anticipatory actions have a positive impact on reducing the effects of drought on water scarcity and food insecurity. Furthermore, AA have a higher benefit to cost ratio, indicating their cost-effectiveness and return on investment.

How to cite: Wambui Ng’ang’a, N., Saado Abdillahi, H., Nduku Nzau, S., and Mwambi Misiani, Z.: Testing Effectiveness of Forecast Based Financing as Compared to Traditional Emergency Response: A Case Study of West Pokot County -Kenya, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17551,, 2023.

Supplementary materials

Supplementary material file