CAS: Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

The importance of anticipatory humanitarian action has been firmly anchored in humanitarian practice at least since the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. Among the most relevant concepts are “Forecast-based Financing” (FbF), “Forecast-based Action” (FbA) and “Early Warning, Early Action” (EWEA). The ultimate goal of anticipatory humanitarian action is to predict disasters and their effects in order to provide the necessary support for communities at risk and to enable early action even before disaster strikes. In recent years, individual actors have generated innovations in this field and thus achieved positive results. This program is intended to make anticipatory approaches accessible to a broader target group and to integrate these approaches into the humanitarian mainstream.

This program will introduce you to the concept of anticipation and offers a range of courses that  provide you with practical tools and inspiring ideas that you can use in order to make a difference and contribute to a more anticipatory and less response-oriented humanitarian system.

The program will not only address the possibilities and limits of anticipatory humanitarian action, but will also introduce you to the instruments that are available to anticipate disasters and their consequences. A particular focus is on the role of geo-data in anticipatory humanitarian action and how this data can be collected, used and analyzed. The challenges of planning and applying these instruments in different contexts will also be considered.

Learning Objectives

  • Create awareness of the importance of anticipation in the humanitarian sector
  • Learn about proven tools and approaches to anticipatory humanitarian action
  • Enable participants to critically reflect on the limits of these approaches

Teaching and Learning Methodology

  • Online and on site trainings
  • Lectures
  • Group work
  • Group discussion
  • Case studies
  • Group presentations


The program is designed for staff of humanitarian organizations with several years of experience in humanitarian action or in development cooperation. We also admit a limited number of junior professionals who are currently employed by a humanitarian organization and have at least 6 month of field experience. In individual cases, experienced persons with other qualifications can be considered.


Courses are taught in English and German. Fluency in both languages is strongly recommended. We cannot guarantee that the five courses required to obtain the CAS will be available in one language only.


A “Certificate of Advanced Studies” is a further education degree at master's level. It has a scope of 10 credit points according to ECTS (10 ECTS). Five „Intensive Training Programs“ (ITPs) can be combined to a „Certificate of Advanced Studies“ (5 ECTS). The courses can be chosen individually based on the courses offered on the aha webpage in each core track.  Upon completion of the five ITPs you need to hand in an essay paper which is worth an additional 5 ECTS.


The courses will be held online or in different locations in Germany. The locations are indicated for each course in the course section.

Application and Fees

You need to apply for each individual course of your certificate via the registration button in the course section. Please note that some courses are free of charge and others charge a participation fee. Spots are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. If a course is fully booked, kindly register for another one. Course participants must cover the costs for own transportation, meals besides the course catering, and accommodation. A list of cost-effective accommodation options can be provided by the course organizers.


Courses are offered on a rolling basis. Over time, more courses will be added meaning that you can start your certificate whenever you want. Either register for all your courses today, or do it one by one and sign up for the certificate later. It's flexible, just like we are.


If you have any questions, please contact us via the help button in the right hand corner of this page.

Start choosing your courses today!

Security and Crisis Management

Already over

© LandsAid/Pakistan Relief

The demands on security and crisis management for German NGOs are high. In this course we will have a look at our own security and crisis management concepts and benefit from the knowledge of our experienced trainers and the good practices of other participants. You will register for an online series including two online seminars and (if the situation allows) one face-to-face seminar on security and crisis management. In between, you will apply your knowledge by discussing each others’ security and crisis management concept with one other participant in a peer-to-peer phase.

The first two online sessions will be held on 09 and 23 February. The final event of the series will take place on 16 and 17 March and will be conducted either online or -depending on the pandemic situation- in Hannover. The course is taught in English and includes regular breaks.

Introduction to the Mechanisms of Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

Already over

© Mozambique RC/ GRC

INFORMATION: This course is booked up, please register for a different training.

Mechanisms for anticipatory humanitarian action, such as Forecast-based Financing (FbF), enable early action before extreme weather events occur through the use of forecasting models and risk data as well as the rapid availability of funds. In this way, humanitarian consequences of disasters can ideally be mitigated and the response time and efficiency of humanitarian efforts can be improved.

In this three-day online course, you will gain an overview of the opportunities and limitations of anticipatory humanitarian action using Forecast-based Financing as an example. You will learn about existing examples of the use of extreme weather forecasts and become familiar with the basics of setting thresholds ("trigger levels") to enable anticipatory humanitarian action.

The training sessions will be held in English and include regular breaks.

Introduction to the Selection, Planning and Implementation of "Early Actions" in the Context of Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

Fully booked

© German Red Cross

Anticipatory action means acting prior to the onset of predictable hazards and thus, prevent their impact, if possible, and reduce human suffering and losses. It has only been a few years since humanitarian agencies started to develop systems to take action based on forecasts and risk analysis. Hence, Early Actions are a core component of anticipatory humanitarian action as their implementation aims at reducing the impact of extreme events. This course provides an overview of early actions in some of those projects from the Red Cross Red Crescent movement as well as from different NGOs.

Hence, you will be introduced to the overall concept of Anticipatory Action and its current funding mechanisms, but the focus will be on the selection and planning of early actions for various hazards (e.g., short onset such as floods but also long onset such as droughts) by taking into account different lead times and identified impacts. In this course, you will learn about key principles for identifying Early Actions as well as tools for prioritizing, planning and evaluating their effectiveness. Overall, examples will be taken from both, larger humanitarian agencies such as German Red Cross and Welthungerhilfe, as well as smaller NGOs who have a stronger focus on community-based approaches. The training is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Anticipatory Humanitarian Action".

Anticipatory Humanitarian Action in Situations of Conflict


October 2021


CAS: Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft / Zanettini

Projects of anticipatory humanitarian assistance are currently mostly limited to extreme weather events, but the approach can also be useful in conflict situations. In this course, you will explore whether and how existing approaches to anticipatory humanitarian assistance can be transferred to conflict contexts and what opportunities (and risks) exist in linking them to crisis monitoring tools. The training is exploratory in nature.

The training is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Anticipatory Humanitarian Action". The course is planned as an online event in October 2021 and will include regular breaks. Further information and details on the registration period will follow shortly via our newsletter.

Climate Change Adaptation: Managing Risk and Anticipatory Action of Extreme Events


October 2021


CAS: Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

© 2007 ADH/Trappe

Climate change has brought increasing number and change in climate and weather extremes that may cause disasters. Anticipating the climate change impacts and taking appropriate actions to manage the risk of extreme events has become necessary within humanitarian action.

This modul provides basic foundation and understanding of climate change adaptation, especially looking at managing of risk and anticipatory action towards climate-related extreme events. Several speakers from international organizations / research institutions will talk about the relevant key concepts and approaches in the thematic areas, which will be followed by discussions and group exercises on the topics and relevant case studies.

The course is planned for October 2021, more details will be provided.

The Use of Geo-Data in Humanitarian Action

January 2022


CAS: Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft

The use of geospatial data in humanitarian aid and crisis management holds great potential. This course teaches you the most important applications of geospatial data in humanitarian aid. You will get an overview of existing data sources, including user-generated data such as OpenStreetMap. You will learn how to use this data systematically, with a particular focus on the use of geospatial data in the context of risk analysis to provide needs-based and anticipatory humanitarian assistance. Within this module, you will also learn basic skills in using the open-source software QGIS.

The training is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Anticipatory Humanitarian Action". The course is planned as a face-to-face event in January 2022, but due to the dynamic developments in the context of the Corona pandemic, it might be changed to an online-only format. Further information will follow shortly.

GIS in Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

April 2022


CAS: Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

© Daniele Masi

The visualization of geo-coded data in maps offers significant advantages for humanitarian interventions in general and risk analysis in particular. In this course, you will receive an advanced introduction to QGIS, building on the basic knowledge acquired in the training course "The Use of Geo-Data in Humanitarian Action". The focus of this training is on humanitarian risk analysis and the creation of so-called impact maps in the field of anticipatory humanitarian aid. Supported by various practical examples, your proficiency in the use of QGIS will be consolidated.

The training is part of aha's certification scheme and can be credited towards a Certificate of Advanced Studies in "Anticipatory Humanitarian Action". The course is planned as a face-to-face event in April 2022, but due to the dynamic developments in the context of the Corona pandemic, it might be changed to an online-only format. Further information will follow shortly.