Towards a more effective early warning system in the horn of Africa



What are the lessons to be learnt and opportunities for improving CEWARN’s functionality as it implements and reviews its new strategy for 2012–2019?   This report recognises how far CEWARN has come since 2002 when there was no mechanism in place and now, where it operates differently in 6 countries across the region in response to the context. It also highlights the critical role civil society organisations have played in supporting early warning and response, through capacity building of different stakeholders, provision of funding, as an entry point into communities or for the facilitation and coordination of contacts and processes in their own country but also cross-border.

Challenges identified to CEWARN and CEWERUs effectiveness relate to:

  • sustaining resources for the different bodies and actors involved in the operationalisation of early warning and response across the region
  • setting up adequate data collection and analysis processes that also include feeding back findings to its communities
  • translating early warning into rapid (immediate) response
  • promoting the role that women can play throughout the mechanism structures

A number of recommendations are made in order to increase the effectiveness of CEWARN to respond to current and upcoming challenges in the region:

  • Sustaining resources for and adopting the appropriate policy frameworks allowing CEWERUs to maximise their potential to act as central early warning and response structures in the region.
  • Establishing more systematised processes for the collection and analysis of information, as well as provision of responses which rely less on individuals’ goodwill or subjectivity.
  • Harnessing the positive contributions of civil society organisations and promoting the role that woman need to play in early warning and response processes.


Saferworld (2015). Towards a more effective early warning system in the horn of Africa: Learning lessons and seizing opportunities. London: Saferworld