Science and Technology for Disaster Risk Management

What the Innovation Lab does

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Use cutting-edge science and technology to make high-quality risk information available faster and at lower costs

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Develop new tools that allow decision-makers and communities to collect, share, and understand risk information, remaining responsive to their questions and needs

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Tailor our approach to support the full range of disaster risk management interventions — from preparedness to risk reduction to consideration of financial solutions

GFDRR harnesses technology and science to quantify disaster and climate risks. With diverse challenges from country to country, the Innovation Lab specializes in clearly defining a problem, building tailored solutions with strategic partners, and avoiding “cookie cutter” approaches. The aim is building resilience before disaster strikes, largely by leveraging open data and open source tools.

Open Source Tool Development

GFDRR creates tools to promote wide access to vital data and information.

  • The Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) encourages governments to make official data available to the public — and supports local communities to play a greater role in risk management through projects like community mapping — all through the use of open source tools.
  • ThinkHazard! is a new web-based tool that enables non-specialists to consider the impact of disasters on new development projects.
  • Code for Resilience works with country partners to co-invest in developing capacity, community, and tools that leverage technological innovations to strengthen resilience to natural disasters.

Technical Advisory Service

GFDRR helps to ensure decision-makers, from the local to the international level, are taking advantage of new approaches and technology in order to deliver risk information to more people faster, cheaper, and with greater functionality. Collaborating across areas of engagement, such as the financial protection and hydromet teams, GFDRR works to advance the use of risk information.

  • National-level risk profiles have been developed and rolled out in Africa, Central Asia, and Europe.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, the first phase focused on five countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Senegal, and Uganda.
  • These risk assessments provide valuable information on the risks from earthquake, flood, drought, volcano, and landslides to aid decision-makers in better understanding their risk to support sustainable development.

Research and Knowledge Sharing

The pace of innovation moves rapidly, and fresh knowledge needs to be shared. GFDRR prioritizes making new methods of disaster risk assessment available and increasing understanding for other stakeholders – including best practice publications and analysis.

  • The "Making of a Riskier Future" publication, released in May 2016, makes the case for all risk assessments to consider how climate and socio-economic changes will shape and grow risk in the future. This research informs future interventions.

Partnerships for Innovation

GFDRR works with a wide variety of partners at both the local and multinational level to bring the most innovative and custom-made solutions to countries around the world, each with different needs and priorities. Key partners include producers and users of risk data, such as national governments and local communities. Through these ecosystems, GFDRR shares knowledge, fosters connection, and encourages collaboration. It also works closely with other development partners, including UN agencies, NGOs, technology companies, insurers, and academic institutions.

  • The Understanding Risk community is an important focal point for partnerships.
  • The Challenge Fund, a joint project with the UK government, awards grants for positively disruptive ideas that can overcome entrenched barriers to understanding risk. Through the Fund, new methods such as open-source mobile weather stations, drones, crowdsourcing, social media, and satellite imagery are being applied.

 

Head of Innovation Lab

Dr. Alanna Simpson: asimpson1@worldbank.org

OpenDRI

Vivien Deparday: vdeparday@worldbank.org

Understanding Risk

Simone Balog: sbalog@worldbank.org

Code for Resilience

Dr. Keiko Saito: ksaito2@worldbank.org

Spatial Impact Assessment

Dr. Keiko Saito: ksaito2@worldbank.org

Challenge Fund

Emma Phillips: ephillips@worldbank.org