Connecting for innovation in disaster risk management

Connecting for innovation in disaster risk management

5 May 2021

Bangkok, Thailand

Innovation is emerging as a key theme in disaster risk management (DRM) and wider development fields to address complex challenges and formulate more efficient and cost-effective modes of working.

Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) through its Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP) program organized a webinar on Novel Approaches to DRM for a Safer Asia to draw insights from various leaders and experts in Asia and the Pacific region.

The webinar brought together panelists that included development partners, innovation experts, and DRM actors to share their perspectives on the relevance of innovation in DRM and localization.

Mr. Sisira Madurapperuma, Director at ADPC, discussing key enabling factors to stimulate innovation at the grassroots level.

Mr. Sisira Madurapperuma, Director at ADPC, drew upon the insights shared by the other panelists to emphasize the potential to foster innovations from the grassroots level. He connected the power of regional organizations to support innovation by enabling partnerships, supporting champions, policy guidance, technical support, and access to funding.

"There could be great ideas at the local level, but they still might need some technical expertise," he said. "Since ADPC has its own expertise as well as extended familial partnerships and external faculty members and partners, we would be able to play a big role in connecting those," he added.

Dr. Valerie Bemo, Deputy Director of Emergency Response at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, moderating the session.

Dr. Valerie Bemo, Deputy Director of Emergency Response at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, moderated the webinar. Dr. Bemo introduced the session by reflecting on how the COVID-19 pandemic has further driven the need for innovation in addressing complex challenges with cost-effective solutions.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the important role of local actors who have been at the forefront of pandemic preparedness and response in their country," she said, adding that recent innovations have contributed to the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Other panelists included Mr. Muhammad Idrees Mahsud (Member - National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan), who provided a government and policy perspective; Mr. Abdulla Khoory, Grant Manager at Expo 2020 Dubai Representative, who provided details about Expo 2020 Dubai and how the event brings unique opportunities to address global challenges of opportunity, mobility, and sustainability; and Mr. Rubaab Sood, Head of Disaster Risk Management & Social Entrepreneurship at Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), India, who provided the private sector perspectives.

The webinar also provided an opportunity to launch the ‘Landscape Analysis Report on Innovation for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in Asia' developed under APP’. The report analyzes the role of innovation in DRM and details the challenges and enablers in the context of the Asian Region as well as providing examples of innovative organizations and practices from selected countries. Click here to download your copy.

One of the specific recommendations arising from the report was the need for mechanisms to support local actors to identify, nurture and further develop innovative solutions. In this context, the APP ‘Social Innovation Grand Challenge’ was launched during the webinar. The challenge seeks to support selected innovators and nurture innovative ideas for dissemination and utilization in their own countries and potential replication across the region and beyond.

Watch the full webinar here: