New research on

Building resilience using financial instruments


The Centre has partnered with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) to launch a research call on the topic of building resilience to disasters using financial instruments.

Seven proposals have been funded in total, with research starting in early 2018, and finishing either in late 2019 or 2020.

Each project is led by a UK university, in partnership with an organisation that demonstrates practical experience designing and implementing innovative financing mechanisms in developing countries.

Research projects are on-going. More information about the individual projects is available here.


Example project: Drought Risk Finance Science Laboratory (DRISL)

Humanitarian agencies are becoming increasingly aware that better preparation for disasters can save lives.

Setting up anticipatory systems can enable preparedness of both humanitarian organisations and the communities they work with.

There is growing interest in the use of information to anticipate potential disasters, and to set pre-agreed triggers for the release of finance that can be used to support early action. However, humanitarian agencies tend to lack the in-house capacity to understand the science behind these systems, and thus to feel reassured of their credibility and reliability.

Recognising this unfilled need in the humanitarian sector, DRiSL enables a “scientific due diligence” process for evaluating the scientific basis of models used in forecast-based financing schemes. DRiSL will assess a number of global drought models and data, in terms of their ability to depict emerging food security crises, working at the level of ‘model development’, piloting in Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

The project will also develop a guide for conducting this due diligence process, so that others can replicate it in the sector.

DRiSL will help humanitarian agencies understand the uses and limitations of science for decision-making, in the context of disaster risk management.

DRiSL is led by the University of Sussex in partnership with the Start Network, University of Reading, Columbia University’s IRI, Global Parametrics and Welthungerhilfe.