Who we are, what we do, and why

The Centre for Disaster Protection finds better ways to stop disasters devastating lives and economies, by supporting countries to better manage disaster risk. 

The Centre is founded on the principle that the relative likelihood of particular disasters can be predicted, and that their impact can be managed, with the right plans in place. So, we find and share better ways to prepare for, and respond to disasters. This significantly limits the effect disasters have on people’s everyday lives, and on countries’ long-term development.

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Our work means doing things differently – and doing it together.

We source innovative ideas and work with our partners to bring about change in the way money is programmed for disasters across the global development and humanitarian system.

Experience shows us three key things – and they all shape what we do:

  • If potential risks are understood, governments and their partners can manage and mitigate them – and respond faster when disasters occur.

  • If the right plans and capacity are in place before a disaster strikes, lives can be saved – and vulnerable families can access food, water, healthcare and other services to protect themselves, recover and thrive.

  • And if it’s agreed who will pay for the cost of disasters before they occur, money will be delivered more quickly and more effectively.


We help low and middle-income countries manage the specific risks they face, so they can deliver earlier and more cost-effective help for the most vulnerable people when disasters occur.

The Centre works with countries to take early, informed and effective action to manage the risks posed by natural disasters.

Working in a collaborative way, we help countries to understand the challenges they face, develop plans and risk evaluations, and put the right financing in place to protect vulnerable people.

We build partnerships. We generate ideas. We find solutions. And we take action.


The Centre for Disaster Protection was announced by the UK Prime Minister in 2017. Based in the City of London, it is funded by and is a close partner of the UK Department for International Development and the World Bank's Disaster Protection Program. The Centre is an Alliance Partner of the InsuResilience Global Partnership.

The Centre acts as a physical hub, a focus of thought-leadership, impartial advice, analytics, training and innovation. Bringing together partners from across the development, humanitarian and financial communities, we work towards a central goal - to reduce the impacts of disasters and speed recovery.

Our location in the City of London enables collaboration with the UK’s financial sector, whose world-renowned expertise can help to generate positive outcomes for poor and vulnerable people in disaster-prone regions.

The Centre works closely with other groups, too, including academia, thinktanks and innovators.




Teamwork is essential to everything we do, and our partners come from a wide range of sectors, from multilateral development institutions, to universities and thinktanks.

More About Partners


The Centre’s mission – stopping disasters from devastating lives and economies – takes close collaboration and teamwork.

Our partners come from many sectors. These include multilateral and bilateral development and humanitarian institutions, and private and financial sector organisations. They also come from civil society organisations, universities and thinktanks, networks, and platforms. And include other innovators, too.

We want to source the very best ideas, tools and approaches to help us achieve our mission.

If you are not listed here, but would like to partner with us, please visit the “Work with us” page for more information


Our implementing partners help to deliver the core work of the Centre, providing support across multiple workstreams and activities. 

  • Oxford Policy Management is the Centre’s Managing Agent, responsible for providing operational and administrative support.

  • The Government Actuary’s Department provides analytical capability to the Centre.


We collaborate with our knowledge partners to develop new evidence and analysis.

We work together to ensure this information reaches and influences the people it needs to.

  • The UK Department for International Development is a strategic partner as well as a funder. The Centre works closely with private sector, climate resilience and humanitarian teams in DFID, to support and inform their work relating to disaster risk and crisis management.

  • The World Bank’s Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Programme provides funding and expertise to help countries ensure that their populations are financially protected, in the event of a disaster. The programme’s London Hub is funded by, and co-located with the Centre, and we work together on a range of activities.

  • The Centre is a Program Alliance member of the InsuResilience Global Partnership - an initiative launched at the UN Climate Conference COP23 in 2017. The Partnership seeks to develop an open and inclusive global multi-stakeholder community of countries. This means a network of experts and practitioners who share its vision of protecting lives and livelihoods and poor and vulnerable people from the impacts of disasters, by enabling a faster, more reliable and more cost-effective response.

  • The Insurance Development Forum is a public-private partnership that aims to optimise and extend the use of insurance, and its related risk management capabilities. The goal is to build greater resilience and protection for people, communities, businesses and public institutions that are vulnerable to disasters and their associated economic shocks.



The Centre for Disaster Protection is funded by UK aid through the Prosperity Fund, a cross-governmental initiative of the UK Government which contributes to the achievement of the 2015 UKaid strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals through addressing barriers to growth. The funding is managed by the UK Department for International Development.

Our Team



Daniel is an actuary and development economist. He has worked with more than forty developing country governments on disaster risk finance in close collaboration with bilateral and multilateral development institutions, and the private insurance and reinsurance industry. An influential voice in the field of disaster risk finance, Daniel’s publications include the book Dull Disasters? How planning ahead will make a difference (Oxford University Press), co-authored with Professor Stefan Dercon.

He has a first class degree from Cambridge University in Mathematics in Computer Science and a D.Phil. in Economics from the University of Oxford, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

Head of Multilateral Programmes


Zoë has worked for 20 years in public finance, disaster risk management, governance, research and evaluation in low-income countries. She has worked with and for many UN agencies, Regional Development Banks, bilateral donors and INGOs.

Within the Centre leadership team Zoë is responsible for leading the Centre’s work with multilateral organisations, including overseeing our technical quality assurance services.

She has an LL.M in Law in Development from Warwick University.


Director of Operations

Felicity Le Quesne

Within the Centre leadership team Felicity is responsible for all operational and administrative functions of the Centre including legal, human resources, procurement, financial management, and monitoring and evaluation, and leads the Managing Agent team.   

She works closely with the rest of the leadership team to establish and deliver upon the Centre’s mission. Her background is in climate change resilience and disaster risk management, and she has worked in consultancy and for the UN. She has an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford.

Head of Country Programmes


Sophie is a specialist in risk, climate and innovative financing, having led strategic global projects from within the private sector for clients including governments, multilaterals, and international corporates.

Within the Centre leadership team Sophie is responsible for leading the Centre’s operational work in low and middle income countries.

She has a BSc in International Relations and Politics from Oxford Brookes University, an MA in Intelligence and International Security from King’s College London, and completed her legal qualifications in 2017.

A Head of Policy and Innovation is being recruited in mid 2019 to complete the leadership team. Collectively they are responsible for formulating and delivering the Centre’s vision and mission, and managing our strategic partnerships.

The wider Centre team includes individuals working on communications, monitoring and evaluation, innovation, gender, equity and social inclusion, administration and a variety of technical areas.

Advisory Board

An Advisory Board provides strategic advice and direction to the Centre leadership team, meeting twice each year:


Board Chairperson

Rachel Turner

Director of Economic Development, UK Department for International Development.

Board member

Colin Wilson

Deputy Government Actuary, UK Government Actuary’s Department.

Global Director

Alfonso Garcia Mora

Director, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, World Bank.

Board member

Stefan Dercon

Professor of Economic Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

Expert Advisory Group

Our Expert Advisory Group was constituted through an open call for applications and a selection process that explicitly sought to ensure representation across sectors and regions.

Meeting twice a year, the group provides advice to the Advisory Board and the Centre leadership team on strategic and technical questions. Members serve for 1–2 years. As of October 2018, the members are:

  • Paula Jarzabkowski, Cass Business School (Co-Chair)

  • Brendan Plessis, XL Catlin (Co-Chair)

  • Charlotte Benson, Asian Development Bank

  • Ben Caldecott, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford

  • Elizabeth Hausler, Build Change

  • Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Insurance Development Forum

  • Emily Montier, Start Network

  • Hannah Ndungu, ADRA

  • Zinta Zommers, MercyCorps Europe