Disasters are a given fact in humanitarian work – but they can be addressed in many different ways. Do we focus on recovery of the damage done and take the casualties for granted? Or is there a more human and cost-efficient way of dealing with disasters? We think there is – and the new B-Ready tool provides an effective solution.
The B-READY (Building Resilient, Adaptive and Disaster Ready Communities) project has been developed by a coalition of civil society organisations and private sector companies. Oxfam Novib is the consortium lead with support from Oxfam Philippines, Plan Nederland and Plan Philippines.
The project incorporates technological input and financial services from providers like Visa Worldwide, PayMaya Philippines and Climbes Insurance Co-operative. Geo weather data are provided by Global Parametrics.
B-READY combines international parametrics with local data to forecast disasters that are about to happen. The project uses weather data gathered on both international and local level to define the signs (so-called triggers) that indicate that a hurricane is about to happen within a few days. Together with local authorities, humanitarian actors and communities, action plans are developed beforehand. We provide training for the authorities, communities, local merchants and financial institutions involved and help them to strengthen their coordination. Special attention will be given to the safety and inclusion of women and youth in the area within all project activities.
Once the trigger is reached an alert is issued – and appropriate responses are launched.
Cash disbursements are issued to local families ahead of the predicted disaster through a safe and transparent ‘debit card’ that works like a voucher. With the cards families can prepare themselves by moving to safe places, reinforcing their homes, digging extra ditches or other appropriate measures. Once the hurricane actually strikes, people are safe and properties better protected.
The potential impact of the project is significant – we believe this approach will provide a cost-effective way to support local communities in need. It will also serve to link families to financial systems, and thereby promote financial inclusion. Lastly, it will provide data that will help us define whether this approach would also work if we would provide micro loans instead of donations to the local people, or if an insurance system would be used.
The project will be pilot tested – with financial support from the Dutch Relief Alliance – amongst 2,000 families in the Philippines, where hurricanes are an annual occurrence.
Lead applicant: Oxfam Novib
Co-applicant: Plan Nederland
Local NGO’s: Oxfam Philippines, Plan Philippines
Private Sector Partners: Geo- and weather data: Global Parametrics,
Financial services providers: Visa Worldwide, PayMaya Philippines, Climbes Insurance Co-operative
Contact person: Bruno Molijn – bruno.molijn[@]oxfamnovib.nl