INFORM Warning Proposal
Why we need INFORM Warning
An extensive literature review and consultations with INFORM Partners indicate there is a clear need for open, aggregated, multi-hazard early warning information that is easy to use for decision making. In recent years, the multilateral system has become more aware and focused on the importance of anticipatory and early action. The volume and speed of available information sources to support humanitarian early warning is increasing exponentially. However, there are still a number of challenges that prevent us from turning this information into better decisions that can reduce the occurrence and severity of crises.
- Existing systems for crisis early warning are generally not open, not global in coverage and do not cover all relevant risk drivers (i.e not ‘multi-hazard’ or ‘multisector’).
- They are cost and time intensive for organisations to collect and analyse information from different sources.
- Organisations find it difficult to identify the best and most timely, reliable information and sources.
- Organisations find it challenging to incorporate information into decision-making processes, partly because it is not quantified, or comparable.
Objectives and scope of INFORM Warning
INFORM Warning will present reliable, quantified, multihazard information that warns about risk trends, forecasts, scenarios and events that could lead to crisis impacts in the next 12 months and can be easily used to support decisions on preparedness and anticipatory action.
The system will collect, analyse, aggregate and present existing information from a wide range of sources, including all major, known drivers of humanitarian crises. It will provide objective, transparent information that can be used in risk monitoring and early warning processes of INFORM partners and multilateral processes. INFORM Warning is not a replacement for these processes, but is intended to provide high quality, quantified inputs to them. The ultimate result will be improved decision-making around early warning information.
INFORM Warning will bridge the existing gap between the INFORM Risk Index, which measures structural crisis risk and the INFORM Severity Index, which measures the severity of crises once they occur. INFORM Warning attempts to help understand how risks change over the short to medium term (1-12 months) to help anticipate emerging crisis impacts.
INFORM Warning will have global coverage, with more comprehensive coverage of high risk countries. Where possible, the system will provide information at the subnational level.
INFORM Warning will focus on anticipatory analysis covering a time period of 1 to 12 months into the future. INFORM Warning will not include information or issue alerts about short-term, forecasted events (e.g. tsunami, tropical storms etc.). Other systems already exist for this purpose.
INFORM Warning concept
INFORM Warning will collect, aggregate and present quantified information that can tell us how risks are changing and how, where and when a crisis could occur. The purpose of this information is to support decisionmaking around anticipatory actions that can prevent and mitigate crises.
The types of information that will be included in INFORM Warning include:
INFORM Warning will aggregate this information to create an additional level of analysis that describes the changes of risk at country level over time, as well as elements of specific scenarios that could lead to crises and basic information about them - like the main drivers of risk and the timing, level and type of impacts.
The outputs of the system will be curated and prioritised by human analysis. A web platform will allow users to explore the data, as well as provide feedback on the results.
INFORM Warning will not generate complete early warning scenarios of impact analysis. The system will provide organised, accessible, quality assured, and quantified inputs into broader early warning processes, such as the IASC EWEA process or the IFRC’s Risk Watch. It will be up to the owners of these processes to combine the outputs of INFORM Warning with additional analysis, such as intelligence from field networks.