In the traditional policy model, a negative shock first occurs, which triggers a policy response to address the materialised need. In contrast, an anticipatory action approach provides a policy response to a risk in anticipation of a future need and enables households to cope with the shock on their own terms. This approach combines a robust forecasting and decision-making framework with established implementation plans and pre-arranged cash transfers. We expect an anticipatory action approach to reduce the effects of a shock on household economic outcomes and welfare.
The World Food Programme (WFP) at the United Nations piloted an anticipatory cash transfer in response to climate disasters in June to July 2020, drawing on $2.8 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). A forecast triggered the release of unconditional cash transfers of 4,500 taka (ca. $53) by WFP to 22,434 vulnerable households in five districts along the Jamuna River in Bangladesh. Households received anticipatory cash transfers on 14, 15, 16, 18 and 30 July.