ALERT for Donors

A systematic approach to preparedness such as ALERT offers a huge opportunity to DFID (and other donors) to really get ahead of the game and provide funding for contingency or response plans as early as -24 hours instead of the current +72 hours of the RRF.

Using a common system such as ALERT means that when an early warning trigger is initiated a donor could access the ALERT system and review the preparedness levels of humanitarian agencies (including UN agencies and the country HCT) in the potentially affected country(s). Such a portal would mean that ahead of the disaster donors could:

  1. Determine what agencies were prepared (indicated by green MPAs)
  2. Determine what agencies have activated APAs and were in the process of ratcheting up their levels of preparedness (activated APAs would indicate an agency that is awake and monitoring the situation)
  3. Determine how well prepared agencies are based on their MPA and APA status
  4. Monitor the speed at which agencies were scaling up the preparedness in anticipation for the eminent disaster
  5. Download evidence that demonstrates preparedness e.g. warehouse reports, MoUs, coordination agreements, stock lists etc – the list is endless
  6. Download and/or review contingency/response plans (this would be like an RRF proposal except it is prepared ahead of the event and updated based on early warning and situation monitoring)
  7. If contingency/response plans have been approved by the agency concerned (indicating that the plan is ready to be implemented then DFID would have the ability to download and review response plans even before the disaster occurs
  8. DFID (and other donors) could fund approved contingency/response plans based on contingency planning and early warning monitoring/updating.

Building a donor portal into ALERT so that the system can be used as a mechanism to fund approved agency response plans offers huge opportunities for donors to really get ahead of the disaster and respond FASTER than is possible at present.

Advantages for donors using the funding process proposed above:

  1. Receive alert warnings from a country when APAs have been activated by the HCT or humanitarian agencies within an affected country
  2. Be aware of the which agencies are prepared to respond
  3. Be aware which agencies have updated and approved contingency/response plans in place
  4. Download and review evidence of preparedness (minimum an advanced preparedness) thus enhancing DFIDs ability to access an agency’s capacity to response fast and at what scale
  5. Download the contingency/response plans ahead of the disaster, review the plans, comment on them and allocate funding even before the disaster has occurred
  6. DFID would have the ability to allocate funding based on early warning indicators/mechanisms and allocate response funds as early as -24 hours instead of the current disaster +72 hours – this means DFID could be channelling funds to humanitarians agencies a day before the disaster actually occurs compared to the current RRF which is Disaster +72 hours – DFID could speed up the RRF disbursement by up to four days and at least disburse funds the moment the disaster occurs
  7. The above process reduces the risk of “no regrets funding” as the funding allocations are based on evidence that is within the ALERT system. Therefore decision making is based on concrete preparedness evidence and agency approved plans thus reducing the risk of “regrets” by DFID decision makers and improving accountability to the British public
  8. Because ALERT can be used by the HCT, DFID could provide pre-disaster FLASH appeal allocations based on the preparedness of the HCT thus funding to UN agencies and the FLASH appeal can be based on HCT preparedness or be allocated proportional to a country’s level of preparedness
  9. Using the ALERT system to fund preparedness rewards agencies for maintaining a high level of preparedness.
  10. Providing response funding based on agency preparedness could do more to advance the preparedness agenda that any other action DFID could take.
  11. Funding drives action in the humanitarian sector. BY allocating funding based on preparedness and preparedness planning DFID through a transparent process within the ALERT system could really drive forward the preparedness agenda, improve response time and speed up post disaster response.