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INFORM Warning

INFORM Warning is a way to monitor how crisis and distaster risk is changing and where a new or worsening crisis could occur. It can help us act early and prepare and respond better.

INFORM Warning is in development.

Scope and objectives

INFORM WARNING essentially concerns the collection, aggregation and presentation of information about crisis risk that is dynamic rather than structural in nature. In other words changes in risk that occur over a time period of less than one year. These changes could be a result of specific trigger events, short term trends indicating an emerging crisis or changes of a cyclical or seasonal nature. The overall objective is to provide a common, shared, evidence base of quantitative information to be used in risk monitoring and early warning processes of INFORM partners. This is intended to reduce the time and resources used by partners to collect, assess and incorporate this information into their decision-making. It will also help identify the best and most timely information and sources. The output would be an organised set of publicly available information that would complement any information-collection processes that are internal to INFORM Partners and other actors. For example, UN Monthly Risk Review, IFRC Risk Watch, DFID watch list, IASC EWEA ‘long list’, OCHA crisis dashboard etc.

Product outline and development

Unlike previous INFORM products, INFORM WARNING would not be a composite indicator. Rather, it would be a system for the (automated or semi-automated) collection, organisation and presentation of dynamic risk information. This would not replace any existing decision-making process by INFORM Partners or others. It would simply attempt to provide a set of evidence for those processes, to be complemented by organisational reporting and analysis processes. The system would be designed around an agreed analytical framework, perhaps based on those already existing for INFORM RISK and SEVERITY. Its development would involve the identification of the best sources of information, creation of systems to automatically collect this information, design of ways to organise and present this information to make it useful for decision-makers, and the creation of appropriate output methods so that it could be incorporated into partners’ systems (API) or viewed as a stand alone product (dashboard). There could also be an aggregation component, whereby INFORM develops a method to categorise or classify situations according to agreed criteria, to produce a ‘watch list’ or similar. Key issues to be determined during the conceptualisation phase include: analytical framework and included hazards; frequency of updates; articulation of imminence / lead time; articulation of uncertainty; geographical unit of analysis; inclusion of vulnerability / capacity; links to other platforms / processes; output formats.