Anticipatory action for livelihood protection: a collective endeavour
The term ‘anticipatory action’ refers to actions triggered before a crisis in order to mitigate the worst effects, or even avoid a crisis altogether. While substantial progress has been made in reducing the devastating impacts of drought, most anticipatory actions taken to protect livelihoods have been on a small or pilot scale, and on an ad hoc project basis. In many crises, humanitarian responses still arrive late. Decisions on how to protect livelihoods continue to be taken when a crisis is already happening and delays in mobilising funds to respond are commonplace. This working paper argues that the potential benefits of anticipatory action can only be achieved if the central focus moves from identifying and supporting vulnerable individuals with particular project packages to effecting a system-wide change in how anticipatory action is thought about and used.