The Start Fund anticipation window seeks to mitigate harm and loss for communities at risk of crisis. It does so by enabling and incentivising Start Network members to monitor risk and act on the basis of forecasts. Through the Start Fund anticipation window, Non-Governmental Organisations can respond to shifts in risk, such as a forecast of extreme rainfall or likely political crisis. A key element of this approach requires collective sense-making, or collaborative risk analysis, around the situation forecasted and its potential humanitarian impact.
Summer 2017 was blisteringly hot in the remote valleys of Tajikistan. The mercury peaked at 49 degrees centigrade and in June over three quarters the days were at least 2°C degrees above the seasonal average. This followed an icy winter, with record snow levels at the peaks of mountains surrounding the Rasht and Zerafshan valleys. For a mountainous country, where up to 90% of the population live in the lower elevations of valleys, flooding and landslides are a persistent risk. The hot summer, combined with large quantities of ice in glaciers at the mountain peaks exacerbated this, tipping it out of ‘normal’.
Against this back drop, Start members decided to act in anticipation of flooding and landslides, andraised an alert on July 10th, 2017. This case study documents the process and identifies key learning for the Anticipation Window, using information from documents developed through the alert cycle along with data gathered during a programme visit in October 2017.