The Legitimacy, Accountability, and Ownership of an Impact-Based Forecasting Model in Disaster Governance

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

The Legitimacy, Accountability, and Ownership of an Impact-Based Forecasting Model in Disaster Governance


  • Sterre Bierens Department of Organization Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Kees Boersma Department of Organization Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Marc J. C. van den Homberg 510, an initiative of the Netherlands Red Cross, The Netherlands


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Abstract:  The global shift within disaster governance from disaster response to preparedness and risk reduction includes the emergency of novel Early Warning Systems such as impact based forecasting and forecast-based financing. In this new paradigm, funds usually reserved for response can be released before a disaster happens when an impact-based forecast—i.e., the expected humanitarian impact as a result of the forecasted weather—reaches a predefined danger level. The development of these impact-based forecasting models are promising, but they also come with significant implementation challenges. This article presents the data-driven impact-based forecasting model as developed by 510, an initiative of the Netherlands Red Cross. It elaborates on how questions on legitimacy, accountability and ownership influenced the implementation of the model within the Philippines with the Philippine Red Cross and the local government as the main stakeholders. The findings imply that the exchange of knowledge between the designer and manufacturer of impact-based models and the end users of those models fall short if novel Early Warnign Systems are seen as just a matter of technology transfer. Instead the development and implementation of impact based models should be based on mutual understanding of the users’ needs and the developers of such models.

Keywords:  accountability; disaster governance; early warning systems; forecast based financing; legitimacy; ownership; power relations; risk reduction

Published:   10 December 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v8i4.3161


© Sterre Bierens, Kees Boersma, Marc J. C. van den Homberg. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.