15 new approaches, ranging from flood simulation technology, to mobile app building, to weather station pilots, and even film production, will be supported in the first round of grants from the Challenge Fund – a partnership between the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
The Challenge Fund supports innovative advancements to assist developing countries to better assess and manage the risks faced from natural hazards. Specifically, the Fund will help develop data, products, and approaches to facilitate disaster risk management decision-making and building resilience.
The call for proposals opened in March 2015 at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in Sendai, Japan. From over 200 proposals submitted, a panel of experts specializing in disaster risk, research, and program management helped narrow down the applicant pool, with a final 15 approved for funding.
Winners of a Challenge Fund grant represent a wide range of top institutions, non-governmental organizations, and universities that have identified critical problems that would benefit from technological innovations to impact disaster preparedness. Each grant is between $20,000 and $150,000, depending on need, and includes a follow-up assessment to measure anticipated impact six months after project launch.
These programs target over 20 countries throughout Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, and South Asia.