Consultations have revealed three broad challenges in disaster risk identification. These three areas are regarded as equally important and funding will be allocated accordingly. A key principle of the fund is that all the data, products and approaches supported by the fund will be open and accessible to all.* Individual projects may focus on one or multiple thematic areas. Key success criteria in all cases will be for the project to fulfill a clearly identified and articulated need or problem.

Below are the four thematic areas you can compete in:
Thematic Area 1: Availability and Accessibility of Data and Tools to Analyze Risk

Fundamental data sets are missing; for example, many countries the lack of critical vulnerability data and high-resolution digital elevation datasets suitable for modeling flood and storm surge.  There are also major challenges to accessing and sharing the data that does exist. There is also an absence of appropriate data to model exposure, such as information on critical assets (human and infrastructure). In addition, there is limited availability of appropriate risk models, for example probabilistic drought models and models that integrate climate change and socioeconomic scenarios.

Examples of how the Challenge Fund could help:

  • Utilizing new techniques, such as crowd-sourcing and big data, to fill data gaps
  • Drawing upon remote sensing and other datasets to deliver high-res digital elevation models
  • Developing new open, probabilistic modelling techniques, for example for drought
  • Developing models for outputs beyond direct economic loss; e.g. poverty impacts
Thematic Area 2: Moving from Information to Insight

Even the most robust, accurate risk information will have no impact if it is not tailored to meet a specific demand and if it is communicated poorly. There is also a challenge in communicating complex and uncertainty information effectively. Today, many tools that exist are not often well tailored for users in developing countries; there is a gap between the developers and those people who are intended to benefit.  We now know a lot about how to bridge this gap, to move from information to insight; the challenge is to deliver it in practice.

Examples of how the Challenge Fund could help:

  • Supporting products that are co-designed, co-developed and co-implemented with users; for example, new impact-based forecasting tools tailored for use by emergency services
  • Risk visualization tools that communicate risk effectively based on a deep understanding of how users perceive and interpret risk information.
  • Accessible interfaces to existing tools that are targeted to specific user needs.
Thematic Area 3: Beyond Insight to Triggering Changes in Behavior

To promote behavior change and good risk management will often require a deeper engagement beyond just products and tools. Currently, the use of information is contained by a lack of trust and buy-in to the information as well as a lack of capacity to interpret it effectively. We require new modes of communicating risk information to ensure that information is actionable, and methods to build capacity at the local level to effectively utilize the data and tools available.

Examples of how the Challenge Fund could help:

  • Piloting approaches to move from insight to action, for example through gaming, participatory decision making or other approaches.
Thematic Area 4: Wild Card


Here we are looking for respondents to propose challenges not listed here, and ideas for creative solutions to these identified challenges
*Open here means freely and openly avalilble to all. Open-source is preferred but not required.