Latest News

Early Warning System Mapping and links with Forecast based Financing

Starting in 2012, IRMA (through Lezlie Moriniere) supported IFRC to enhance their contributions to early warning systems (EWS), especially at the community level (CEWS). Working with the National Societies of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Gambia resulted in producing the CEWS Guiding Principles and the Training Toolkit (a ready-to-adapt package for a 6-day training to build a community-focused EWS). More recently, IRMA held CEWS Training of Trainers in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and in Central America.

In roughly 2016, IFRC also started to invest in Forecast based financing (FbF) with direct links to funding from the IFRC’s DREF. While entirely separate from the CEWS work, this effort has grown rapidly and relies on national forecasts and climate services.  

Starting in December 2020, IFRC commissioned research from IRMA to “elaborate options on how to concretely strengthen linkages and the connection between National Societies’ Community Early Warning Systems (CEWS) and Forecast-based Financing (FbF) programmes in order to support the development and enhancement of end-to-end, people-centred early warning early actions systems at national level”.  This effort will map global multi-level EWS (with UNDRR and CREWS data but focusing primarily on those supported by NS) and examine how to promote end-to-end warning systems that benefit from FbF.  

IRMA’s team for this project is Lezlie Moriniere, Arielle Tozier de la Poterie, Ginna Rakotoarimanana.

Climate Risk Assessment of Dominican Republic

Climate change poses huge challenges for Dominican Republic, an island that regularly experiences hurricanes, already suffers from stress on water resources, and whose main industry is tourism.

IRMA was approached by DAI to guide a climate risk assessment focusing on the island’s coastal areas. For this, IRMA is using the participatory GIZ methodology and working closely with Fundación Plenitud, a national NGO with expertise in climate, ecosystems and health.

The assessment IRMA is leading will include consultations with decision-makers, technical experts and representatives of coastal communities, to decide which impacts the country needs to prioritize in its climate change adaptation plans. It is funded by Adapt’Action Facility of Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

IRMA’s team for this assignment is Lezlie Moriniere and Marilise Turnbull.

Training on ‘Resilience for Systems’ for GOAL

Photo credit : GOAL

GOAL uses an approach called ‘Resilience for Systems’ or R4S to understand why systems that poor communities depend on, such as local fishing industries and urban markets for agricultural produce, are vulnerable to shocks and stresses. This knowledge enables GOAL and its partners to work with those communities and relevant actors to strengthen the systems and increase their resilience.

IRMA is developing GOAL’s online training course on Resilience for Systems, to make this approach accessible to other organisations and individuals whose work focuses on building resilience.

 IRMA’s team for this project is Marilise Turnbull and Lezlie Moriniere.

Webinar on Cash and Voucher Assistance conducted by Floor Grootenhuis in partnership with the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs

Cash and voucher assistance have grown from carefully designed pilot projects as alternatives to food aid. However, some see this as radical as it challenges the status quo of the humanitarian architecture.
According to the State of the World’s Cash report in 2020, published by the Cash and Learning Partnership (CaLP), Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) has doubled globally since 2016 from $2.8 to 5.6 billion US dollars.

Floor Grootenhuis, an IRMA associate, is one of the pioneers of CVA. She conducted a webinar in October in partnership with the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs to discuss the practice of unrestricted CVA as a radical act and share her thoughts on the following key issues :

  • What are the implications of Cash and Voucher Assistance at this scale on the humanitarian architecture?
  • What does it demand from the humanitarian community?
  • What mechanisms are in place to ensure that it reaches those that need it most?


The webinar recording can be watched here.

An IRMA Founding partner again co-chaired the Africa Risk Capacity’s Technical Review Committee

In Fall 2020, an IRMA Founding partner again co-chaired the Africa Risk Capacity’s Technical Review Committee (TRC). The Pool 7 session reviewed 7 Member States’ Operation Plans to qualify for sovereign insurance for drought and 2 MS for the brand new Tropical Storm insurance! In the same season, Cote d’Ivoire qualified for a payout, and the FIP was subsequently examined by the TRC. ARC is progressing rapidly to enhance financial protection across the continent!

IRMA founders serving as regular lecturers for the University of Arizona’s Masters of Development Practice 

Since 2019, IRMA founders have been serving as regular lecturers for the University of Arizona’s (UA) Masters of Development Practice in the School of Geography, Development & Environment. 

Recently the lectures fall under the “Essential Management Principles of Development” and focus on many topics: research in humanitarian and development contexts, disaster risk management, disaster risk financing, forced migration, needs assessment, non-profit communication and programme design. 

UA students have already started to grow into “IRMA Associates” and IRMA is hoping soon to host interns.

​Evaluation of FCDO’s Centre for Disaster Protection Programme

IRMA serves as Programme Evaluation Lead (PEL) for a multi-cycle evaluation of the UK Prosperity Fund​’s Centre for Disaster Protection Programme composed of two implementing partners: the Centre​ and the World Bank’s Disaster Protection Programme. The evaluation team focuses on producing knowledge and compiling learning spearheaded by the programme since 2018.  The Centre, based in the City of London, has grown to be widely appreciated by country and humanitarian actors looking to protect their investments and secure financial pipelines to more efficiently support populations affected by crisis and disasters. 

IRMA’s co-founder, Lezlie Moriniere is leading this effort for Tetratech/NIras/Integrity consortium

Gender mainstreaming for African Risk Capacity (ARC)

The African Risk Capacity (ARC), a Specialized Agency of the African Union, enables African governments to access rapid financing to protect the food security and livelihoods of their vulnerable populations in extreme weather events.

ARC engaged IRMA to guide and support the roll-out of its gender mainstreaming strategy. This multi-faceted assignment includes:

  • Designing and delivering training to ARC staff and African countries’ governments on Gender and DRM
  • Producing guidance on gender and DRM for thematic and operational teams across the organisation
  • Research to determine the feasibility of a gender-transformative fund
  • Developing a virtual resource centre for gender and DRM, and
  • Advising key countries on their gender and DRM strategies and policies.

IRMA’s team is Marilise Turnbull, Lezlie Moriniere, Sohna Ngum and Marko Lesukat.

Documenting achievements, results and lessons learned for UNDP Tunisia’s “Support for strengthening national and local capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction” Program

In Tunisia, UNDP has been working with national and local partners to implement the program “Support for strengthening national and local capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction” since 2017. This support has been materialised mainly through two projects, namely:

  • “Improving community resilience and the safety of local communities vulnerable in urban areas in terms of Disaster Risk Reduction, for the towns of Boussalem, Gabes, Kasserine, Mateur and Siliana”, funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS);
  • “Support for strengthening local capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction in the communes of Ain Drahem and Tataouine ”, financed by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO).

IRMA Founding partner Lezlie Morinière together and  and Associate Charlotte Gendre are developing communication pieces that capture the achievements, results and lessons learned of this program. The results of this documentation effort will be used to inform, guide and advocate for future Disaster Risk Reduction interventions in Tunisia.

Providing guidance for pandemic-proof disaster and climate risk reduction within the IFRC

Serving as a DRM leader for the humanitarian and development community for decades,  experience has directed the IFRC to anticipate disasters and risks, rather than solely respond. Yet, as for most of the world, COVID-19 took the IFRC by surprise and the delivery of services to communities was slowed.

Since, the IFRC Strategy 2030 plans to significantly invest in “epidemic and pandemic preparedness building trust, ownership and engagement and placing communities at the centre” and across the world, RCRC is already rethinking its programmes based on the COVID-19 experience.

To support this shift, IRMA is providing guidance to IFRC to adapt , or “Pandemic-proof” 9 keystone preparedness product lines including the EVCA, Road map to Resilience, CEWS, FbF, CBDRR, urban DRR, communication and climate-related tools. 

IRMA’s team for this project is Lezlie C. Moriniere, Marilise Turnbull and Sehdia Mansaray with the advisory of Dr. Carlos Mansilla.