Topic outline

Good practice shows that early warning systems should combine forecast indicators with seasonal observation indicators in order to predict the impact of hazards on different agricultural sectors. Ideally, regularly available vulnerability indicators should also be integrated to detect any impacts on livelihoods and food security of potentially affected population.

This interactive job-aid offers a sample of the most well-known early warning indicators and information sources to support anticipatory action in the context of agriculture and food security.


The job aid is targeted at professionals working on humanitarian assistance and disaster risk management, including practitioners involved in anticipatory action programming.  

  • What early warning indicators and information sources can support anticipatory action in the context of agriculture and food security.
  • Strengths and weaknesses and example thresholds of:
    • Hydro-meteorological forecast indicators.
    • Seasonal observation indicators.
    • Vulnerability indicators.
  • Examples of information sources at global, regional, and country level.

The job aid provides sample hydro-meteorological forecast, seasonal observation and vulnerability indicators. Hydro-meteorological forecast and seasonal observation indicators are divided into four subgroups: drought, cyclones, floods, and plant and animal pest and diseases.

Vulnerability indicators are divided into food security, nutrition and health, and livelihood indicators. For each indicator, you will find a short description, strengths and weaknesses, and example thresholds.

Finally, you can access some examples of  information sources at global, regional, and country level. They are grouped into market, climate and security/conflict information.  

The online version of this course runs on the latest versions of the major browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox.

The downloadable version only runs on Windows PC’s and no additional software is needed.

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    • Partners

       SIDAGovernment of Belgium.