8th - 10th
December 2020
Global Dialogue

On Day 3, we will see you all in plenary between 13:00 and 15:00 CET. We invite you to join the exciting parallel sessions in the morning (10:00-12:00 CET) and in the afternoon (15:30-16:30 CET).  Please join us for surprise talent performances and the closing party at 16:40 CET.

Virtual Edition

Introduction to the parallel sessions

A short welcome to the day from our studio, before we briefly present the different parallel sessions to you and invite you to join those that excite you most.

Parallel Sessions

How can research contribute towards the development of protocols for early action?

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This session will begin with Ignite presentations of case studies that describe how research is contributing towards shaping the development of Early Action Protocols. These case studies might relate to specific country contexts or the wider Forecast-based Action agenda.

In this session, participants will learn of the critical contribution research can make towards the practice of Forecast-based Action. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to put questions to each presenter. Following the presentations there will be break-out rooms hosted by each presenter, who will provide an opportunity for responses to these questions and further engagement with each topic.

Hosted by SHEAR research programme team, including University of Reading.


- Liz Stephens, University of Reading / Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

- Sazzad Hossain, University of Reading / Bangladesh Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre
- Andrea Ficchi, University of Reading
- Faith Mitheu, University of Reading
- Emmah Mwangi, Kenya Red Cross Society
- Steve Cole, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
- Rebecca Emerton, European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts
- Marc van den Homberg, Netherlands Red Cross 510 data team
- Gabriela Nobre, VU, Netherlands

Climate change and variability to carve anticipation actions in Bangladesh

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FOREWARN is a Start Network project that brings together scientists and humanitarians to collectively analyse risk, alongside community consultation to plan anticipatory action, but what considerations must be made for climate change when working on hazard analysis? 

This session will bring together Start Network's Bangladesh FOREWARN experts alongside the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) to share the key lessons from their work on climate change, risk analysis and designing anticipatory action – and how this combined approach must integrate as we go forward in Forecast-based Finance and Forecast-based Action.

Hosted by Start Network Bangladesh.

- Ashraful Haque, FOREWARN Bangladesh, Coordinator
- Marwa Tasnim, FOREWARN Bangladesh, Partnership Officer

- Professor Saleemul Huq, ICCCAD, Director
- Ruksana H. Rimi, Mawlana Bhashani Science Technology University, Associate Professor
- Atik Ahsan, Epidemiologist
- Hassan Ahmadul, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Technical Advisor

Floods, droughts, fire and beyond… Are existing forecasts enough?

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Forecasts of high-impact environmental events, such as floods, droughts, and fires, are increasingly available on a range of platforms.

The session will cover 3 main questions:

  1. What?: what is the most useful information – it can be the variable considered, the forecast quality, the forecast lead time horizon or the spatial granularity?
  2. How: what is the most effective way to disseminate the information? Do you want data, maps, briefs, alerts?
  3. And when: at what time and how often do you need the forecast updates?

This interactive session aims to gather valuable insight from the main users of operational environmental forecasting services, including from humanitarian aid community as well as other sectors, to understand the critical components required from such services, so that future evolutions of forecasting systems are aligned with users' needs.

Hosted by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts


- Ervin Zsoter, ECMWF, Scientist

- Christel Prudhomme, ECMWF, Leader of Environmental Forecasts Team
- Francesca Di Giuseppe, ECMWF, Principal Scientist
- Fredrik Wetterhall, ECMWF, Senior Scientist
- Calum Baugh, ECMWF, Scientist
- Karen O’Regan, ECMWF, Hydrological Forecast Analyst
- Eleanor Hansford, ECMWF, Hydrological Forecast Analyst

Impact-based forecasting for anticipatory action

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Weather and climate forecasts traditionally describe what the weather will be “it will rain this much tomorrow”, unfortunately this is not sufficient to warrant acting before disasters. For this, it is critical to understand what the impact of weather hazards might be on lives and livelihoods.

A new type of forecast called Impact-based Forecasting (IBF) is emerging, which tells what the weather will do “how many houses are expected to get damaged if there is a certain amount of rain”. This is revolutionising the way we anticipate disasters and respond to them. Impact-based forecasting represents the evolution of early warning systems ensuring every early warning is translated to early action. It is also the fundamental element of the Forecast-based Financing mechanism.

The session will discuss on the IBF methodology for Anticipatory Action, as set out by our recently launched practical guide on “The Future of Forecasts: Impact-based Forecasting for Early Action”.

Hosted by Climate Centre and Met Office UK.

- Madhab Uprety, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Technical Adviser
- Stefania Giodini, 510 Global/Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Operations Lead

- Nyree Pinder, UK Met Office, Global Partnerships Manager
- Will Lang, World Meteorological Organization, Chair of Expert Team on General Service Delivery
- Catrina Johnson, UK Met Office, Science Manager
- Elizabeth Viljoen, South African Weather Service, Forecaster
- Osunga Michael Otieno, International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs/Kenya Red Cross Society, Geo-information Officer
- Emma Louise Flaherty, Risk Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP), Implementation Lead
- Shanti Kandel, Nepal Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), Senior Meteorologist

Evidence driven anticipatory approaches: Lessons from Zambia

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In this session, Zambia Red Cross and the Government of Zambia will share how via collaboration it has been possible to achieve a national evidence-driven approach to Anticipatory Action.

The session will start with Zambia Red Cross sharing achievements and lessons learned on building data evidence for Anticipatory Action and how to achieve co-production of risk data bases and, on the base of this approach, how Zambia is moving from a single hazard to a multi-hazard approach.

In the second part of the session, the Government of Zambia will showcase how Zambia is approaching the mainstreaming/integration of the Forecast-based Financing system in the National Early Warning System and the EOC system.

Hosted by Zambia Red Cross and Netherlands Red Cross 510 Data Team.


- Stefania Giodini, 510 Global/Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Operations Lead

- Mulambwa Mwanangóno, Zambia Red Cross, Disaster Management Manager
- Likezo Musobani, Zambia Government Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, Principal Early Warning and Preparedness Officer

La Niña is officially declared: What are we doing to anticipate its likely impacts?

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La Niña is the cooling of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific and increases the risk of heavy rainfall and flooding in some parts of the world, while in others it increases the risk of drought through reduced rainfall. The impact on agriculture and food security can be severe.

Since June 2020, global forecasts flagged the risk of a La Niña event developing during the second half of 2020. In October, WMO declared La Niña event, triggering the activation of the IASC Inter-Agency Standard Operating Procedures for Anticipatory Action to El Niño/La Niña Episodes (IA-SOPS).

Co-led by FAO and OCHA, the IA-SOPS promote a common understanding of El Niño/La Niña and risk thresholds, and provides guidance for coordinated Anticipatory Action at global, regional and country level.

This session aims to present the ongoing work under the IA-SOPs including a panel discussion with experts who are implementing SOPs.

Hosted by FAO, OCHA, WMO.

- Dunja Dujanovic, FAO, Team Leader, Early Warning Early Action

- John Long, OCHA, Head - Emergency Response Preparedness Unit
- Andrew Kruczkiewicz, University of Colombia - International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Senior Researcher and Faculty Lecturer
- Bob Stefanski, WMO, Head of Applied Climate Services Division
- Stéphanie Julmy
, IFRC, Resilience Coordinator (Africa and MENA)
- Ahmat Younous Abdel-Lathif, WFP, Meteorologist and Climate Risk Analyst


Parallel Sessions

Catching outbreaks where they start through community-based surveillance

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Epidemics begin and end within communities. Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are ideally placed within their own communities to promote preparedness that enables and empowers them to stop outbreaks from becoming epidemics. 

Building on a strong foundation of epidemic control, first aid, risk communication and community engagement, volunteers can be trained on signs and symptoms tailored to their community’s health risks. Once volunteers identify these risks, health authorities can be alerted to their presence – forming the final community-level link in the health surveillance system.

This session will introduce the Red Cross Red Crescent approach to community-based surveillance (CBS) as a tool for early warning and early action and will invite speakers and participants to share their own experiences of how CBS or other early warning systems that have been used as an evidence-based approach to encourage early action.

Hosted by IFRC and Norwegian Red Cross.

- Amrish Baidjoe, Norwegian Red Cross, Team Lead, Public Health and Surveillance
- Rachel Goodermote, IFRC, Senior Emergency Health Officer, Risk & Surveillance
- Julia Jung, Norwegian Red Cross, Regional Technical Delegate
- Abbey Byrne, IFRC Africa Region, Community-based surveillance Delegate

Collaboration on anticipatory actions: State of the play in the Arab region

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The Arab region has become increasingly vulnerable to climate change impacts, demanding State and non-State actors to be innovative and efficient with humanitarian as well as development activities. In light this, a number of UN agencies, CSOs and governments are becoming more interested and familiar with how Forecast-based Financing (FbF) and anticipatory action work.

The session will present the initiation of FbF and anticipatory action and showcase how it is working in the Arab region.

The session will highlight the anticipatory action work undertaken as part of a multi-stakeholder regional project and will be complemented by the ongoing Red Cross Red Crescent Movement roll out in the region. The session will explore how anticipatory action can support accelerated action on the SDGs as well as contribute to the regional climate security agenda.

Hosted by WFP and IFRC.

- Hosam Faysal
- Omar Farook, World Food Programme Regional Bureau in Cairo

Forecast-based Financing and disaster displacement: Acting early to reduce the humanitarian impacts of displacement

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There is increasing interest in anticipatory humanitarian action in the context of disaster displacement. Recently, for example, the UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement called on States to “develop innovative approaches, such as forecast-based financing, to avert, minimize and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change”.

This interactive dialogue will bring together experts to discuss the existing approach of FbF to address climate displacement, as well as to propose practical recommendations on how FbF can be adapted to address the needs of communities affected by climate displacement.

This session will also share the new IFRC and Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre Issue Brief on Forecast Based Financing and Disaster Displacement.

Hosted by IFRC.

- Ezekiel Simperingham, IFRC Global Lead Migration and Displacement
- Atle Solberg, Head of the Platform on Disaster Displacement Secretariat
- Nyamkhuu Chuluunkhuu, Mongolia Red Cross

The key to long-term sustainability of anticipatory action: Mainstreaming into national systems

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Anticipatory action (AA) has gained significant momentum among the humanitarian and development sector. However to sustainably scale up AA, it is long-term actors, in particular governments and service providers such as meteorological agencies, who have responsibility for most AA, therefore mainstreaming and aligning advances in AA into national risk management systems is essential.

This session will include insights from different countries and contexts, and through a panel discussion will reflect on:

  1. How to achieve coherence, "non-proliferation" and moving away from pilots.
  2. Lessons learned on technical alignment in early warning and risk management systems
  3. How to set the expectations of building long-term sustainability and do better in building meteorological service and risk management capacity

The panel will include speakers from governments, met agencies and mandated risk management agencies.

Hosted by University of Sussex.

- Olivia Taylor, University of Sussex, Project Manager

- Martin Todd, University of Sussex, Professor

- Mary Kilavi, Kenya Met, ForPAC researcher / meteorologist
- Tobias Pforr, University of Reading, Postdoctoral Research Assistant
- Mirianna Budimir, Practical Action, Senior Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor

Jumping into the pool - Making a bigger splash with risk pools and predictable funding

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The session will explore the concept of funding early actions predictably using risk pooling across countries. The session will highlight the advantages it can bring, how it works to increase the number of people who can be protected or reached with funds, and the added benefit predictability brings to anticipatory action, which is characteristically uncertain. The session will also outline the new Start financing facility which will launch next year, which will utilize risk pooling. The session will also feature speakers on innovative financing from IFRC and from the World Bank.

Hosted by Start Network.

- Clare Harris, Start Network, Technical Lead for Crisis Anticipation and Risk Financing

- Emily Montier, Start Network, Head of Crisis Anticipation and Risk Financing
- Nicola Ranger, World Bank, Senior Consultant on Crisis and Disaster Risk Finance
- Malvern Chirume, African Risk Capacity, Chief Underwriting Officer

Drought FbF: Dealing with complexity

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The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has made considerable progress in developing and approving early action protocols for sudden onset disasters. However, to date only very few EAPs have been approved for slow onset disasters, with a first drought EAP for Niger. Developing EAPs for slow onset disasters comes with specific challenges and differs from sudden onset ones in terms of for example type of impact, spatial and temporal characteristics. Droughts are often "silent emergencies" where impacts are insidious and build over time and have a wider spatial and temporal scope.

This requires a different kind of modelling, using seasonal up to sub seasonal lead times with hence higher uncertainties. It also requires alignment of scientific knowledge with local knowledge as what drought means for one actor can differ for the other. This session aims to discuss these challenges and present solutions multi-stakeholder groups are working on.

Hosted by Netherlands Red Cross 510 Data Team.

- Marc van den Homberg, Netherlands Red Cross 510 Data Team, Scientific Lead
- Anna Lena Huhn, German Red Cross, Delegate FbF Southern Africa Project
- Meghan Bailey, Red Cross Climate Centre, Senior Technical Advisor

- Rogerio Bonifacio, WFP, Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Advisor
- Anne Van Loon,  Institute for Environmental Studies VU, Associate Professor
- Aklilu Teklesadik, Netherlands Red Cross 510 Data Team, Hazard and Impact Analyst

Anticipatory collage

Join us in creating an anticipatory artwork: Anticipatory Action inspired and crowdsourced!



Welcome & recap

Join us in plenary for the last day and tell us about your highlights from the previous days.


"But now, let's talk about the weather": Recent advances in forecasting

During the last two days, you have heard from many interesting presentations how anticipatory action is increasingly being used to reduce the impact of non-weather-related hazards. But let's not forget about the weather. The IFRC has recently issued its 2020 World Disasters Report entitled “Come Heat or High Water”, which showed that in 2019 the vast majority (77%) of disasters caused by natural hazards were triggered by climate- or weather-related hazards (storms, floods, droughts, wildfires, extreme temperature or landslides). Which of these can we forecast and forecast well enough to enable anticipatory action? And have there been advances since we met last year? What are the remaining gaps and what should we prioritize in the coming year(s)?
In Ignites of less than 5 minutes followed by brief interviews, experts and scientists will tell us what's the latest in science and forecasting of extreme weather.

- Ángel G. Muñoz, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia University
- Elizabeth Viljoen, South African Weather Services
- Sebastian Grey, WMO
- Josée Poirier, UN OCHA/Centre for Humanitarian Data
- Kirsten Hagon, IFRC
- Joseph Intsiful, Green Climate Fund, Senior Climate Information and EW Specialist

Harnessing humour for anticipatory action

This interactive session explores innovative ways to use humour, cartoons and games to explore the complexity of Anticipatory Action.

- Pablo Suarez, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre



Can we outsmart domino effects? COVID19 lessons on compound risk?

Discussion on compound risk – a situation when multiple risks occur simultaneously, or one after another – has increased since the beginning of the pandemic. While governments, organizations and communities are being tested on their abilities to respond to outbreak around the world, many also are suffering from the impacts of tropical storms, floods and droughts. If COVID19 has shown us anything, it's that the economic and health systems upon which we depend are often fragile and vulnerable to disruption. Learn about the efforts to address double disasters by identifying, monitoring and anticipating risks as they interact.


- Kara Siahaan, Anticipation Hub / IFRC, Lead Policy and Networks

- Bianca Adam, World Bank/Global Crisis Risk Platform, Team Lead
- Dirk-Jan Omtzigt, UN OCHA, Chief Economist & Head of Humanitarian Financing Strategy and Analysis Unit
- Brian Kanaahe, Uganda Red Cross, Manager Community Resilience

Test your collaboration skills

Are you a natural leader or a good follower? How is movement generated? A fun experience allows you to learn about yourself and others.


Introduction to the parallel sessions

Meet us back at the studio to hear about the final round of parallel sessions and join those that excite you most.

Parallel Sessions

Localizing anticipatory action to climate disasters - New triggers needed?

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This session will focus on community-level anticipatory action for climate related disasters.

The key questions will be:
  • How does community-level anticipatory action differ from traditional anticipatory action?
  • Is there a need to develop a new set of triggers and indicators for community-level anticipatory action?
  • How do we best ensure involvement and ownership of anticipatory actions by local communities?

With examples from Bangladesh and Nicaragua on early action for climate disasters, CARE International and Christian Aid will present and invite discussion on how to engage local communities in anticipatory action from the design phase through the implementation of the response.

Hosted by CARE International and Christian Aid.

- Christian Johansen
, Care Denmark, Humanitarian advisor and global focal point for CARE work on anticipatory action

- Sumaiya Kabir, CARE Bangladesh
- Richard Ewbanks, Christian Aid

FbF in action: Insights and lessons learned from the activation of Sangay Volcano in Ecuador (sesión en español)

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At 4.20am, on 20 September, the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute (IGEPN) registered a significant increase in the activity of the Sangay volcano. The Ecuadorian Red Cross, in coordination with the IGEPN, analyzed the possible scenarios, including the level of impact based on the information generated. Dispersion models showed the high probability of ash fall in nearby provinces, where ash accumulations estimates range from between 1 millimetre and 3 millimetres. 

Based on this forecast, the Ecuadorian Red Cross' National Risk Management Program activated their Early Action Protocol for Volcanic Ash funded by FbA by the DREF. This triggered early action activities in seven communities, where several humanitarian assistance, including cash transfers were made in advance of the peak of the hazard.

This presentation aims to present the lessons learned and highlight the good practices systematized in this operation, the first activation of anticipatory action for volcanic ash. After the presentation, there will be space for discussion, including questions and answers.

This session is addressed to participants who understand Spanish.

Hosted by Ecuador Red Cross.

- Natalie Acosta,
German Red Cross, Regional communication Officer FbF LAC

- Sabina Ortíz, Ecuador Red Cross, National Risk Reduction Specialist
- Fernanda Ayala, Ecuador Red Cross, GIS Specialist, National Risk Management Program

Anticipatory action for epidemics: modeling across scientific disciplines

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Epidemics are among the most costly and destructive hazards globally. Currently humanitarian action related to epidemics is focused on response rather than preparedness and prevention. To date, early warning early action and Forecast-based Financing mostly focuses on natural hydrometeorological hazards, but very first initiatives are starting to work on anticipatory action for epidemics. This requires timely detection of disease cases in combination with risk assessment can support prevention measures and therefore contribute to early containment of outbreaks. The use of a holistic risk index as well as predictive analytics for infectious diseases can reduce the impacts of epidemics on (vulnerable) communities, by shifting infectious disease control from response after emergence to early detection and prevention.

This session will present progress made by researchers and practitioners in the development of the tools and models necessary for Anticipatory Action for epidemics, drawing from case studies for example around dengue in the Philippines and Bangladesh and malaria in Uganda.

Hosted by Start Network, French Red Cross and Netherlands Red Cross 510 Data Team.

- Marc van den Homberg, 510 Data Team, Scientific Lead
- Elena Villalobos Prats, WHO, Technical Officer Climate Change and Health

- Thuy Binh-Nguyen, French Red Cross, DRR/CCA Technical Advisor

- Simon Cauchemez, Institut Pasteur, Directeur de recherche, Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Unit
- Rachel Lowe, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Associate Professor, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
- Jacopo Margutti, 510 Data Team, Data Scientist- Jomar Rabajante, University of Philippines Resilience Institute, Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics
- Jomar Rabajante, University of Philippines Resilience Institute, Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics

Gender matters for Anticipatory Action: Zooming in on protection, health and data

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New approaches and successful implementation highlight the multiple benefits of integrating a gender lens in Anticipatory Action, particularly through action on issues related to protection and health, with focus on both data for early warning and effective intervention models.

This session will highlight examples via a panel discussion among partners, with advice on how to advance a gender lens in Anticipatory Action.

The session will address:

  1. Impact of climatic hazards and climate change on women and girls, focusing on linked health and protection concerns for early warning, impact projections and anticipatory action
  2. Use of tools and data for gender-inclusive early warning across humanitarian and fragile contexts, including data from health systems and gender based violence service mapping
  3. Lessons learned on gender and protection for cross fertilization and greater collaboration, including recent anticipatory action in Bangladesh.

Hosted by UNFPA.

- Maryline Py, UNFPA, Humanitarian Specialist

- Sayda Yesmin, Association for alternative development (AFAD), Chief Director
- Jannatul Ferdous,  IFRC Bangladesh, Protection, Gender and Inclusion Officer
- Farah Kabir, Action Aid Bangladesh, Executive Director
- Daniel Schensul, UNFPA, Data SpeciaIist

From theory to practice: FbF in time of COVID19 - a case study from the Dominican Republic (sesión en español)

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The theory: bringing all together, hydrometeorological models, precise forecasts, tailored SOPs and definition of anticipatory actions. 

The practical experience: activating the FbF mechanism through cash-based transfers with the social protection mechanism.

Targeting criteria: Climate Shock Vulnerability Index and the Life Quality Index of the SIUBEN to target the most vulnerable households.

Delivery Mechanism: how to reach rural communities in times of COVID19.

Monitoring and evaluation: learning from the activation of the FbF mechanism and assessing the impact of the cash based transfers on households.

The session will unpack the challenges:

  1. Going local: from national coordination to local response.
  2. Engaging with a new government halfway into the year.
  3. Shifting from a reactive to a proactive response approach.

And the way forward:

  1. Further strengthening for early warning systems based on more precise forecasts at the local level.
  2. Institutionalizing the FbF approach within the social protection system: activating cash-based transfers based on flood triggers.

Hosted by WFP Domican Republic

This session is addressed to participants who understand Spanish.

- Bernardo Rodriguez Vidal​, WFP Dominican Republic​, FbF Programme Coordinator
- Urbe Secades​, WFP Dominican Republic, Programme Manager DRM and Climate Change

Extreme heat and COVID-19: Managing complex and cascading hazards

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The session will focus on the complexity of managing cascading hazards such as extreme heat and COVID-19.

Drawing on global case studies and resources, speakers will discuss the challenges of heat preparedness during the global pandemic, including what worked and reflections from the community level.

Considerations will be given for how to link with broader, all-hazards efforts, long-term resilience building, as well as tools and approaches that can help guide local and national authorities to coordinate and adapt heat action plans and interventions, with COVID-19 prevention (e.g., Global Heat Health Information Network's COVID-19 and Heat Checklist).

The session will include brief presentations as well as a moderated panel discussion. The audience will be engaged through interactive questions around heatwave risk management, and how to consider modifying typical community cooling interventions while respecting infection control efforts.

Hosted by Global Heat Health Information Network (GHHIN) and Climate Centre.

- Roop Singh, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Climate Risk Advisor

- Elspeth Oppermann, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Rachel Carson Centre), Senior Researcher
- Joy Shumake-Guillemot, WHO-WMO Climate Health Office and Global Health Health Information Network, Lead
- Sarah Barr, Start Network, Learning and Research Advisor (Crisis Anticipation and Risk Financing)


Plenary Interaction

Closing, talent show and ... party

To close our platform we want you to look into the future with us: We will ask you what you anticipate for 2021 and what we could and should do about it today.

Following the closing words, to end the year on a sweet note, join us for an informal virtual gathering to reflect, chat and enjoy some surprise performances!

2020 has been a year like none other. The depth and breadth of discussions taking place throughout the Dialogue Platform will demonstrate the growing needs and challenges we collectively face as a community of enthusiasts, experts, practitioners and policy specialists. We are thankful for your continued efforts in sharing knowledge, exchanging experiences and finding ways to meaningfully connect and collaborate to strengthen anticipatory action around the world.