Innovations in Managing Catastrophic Risk: How Can They Help the Poor?


This completed ProVention activity explored innovations in the area of risk transfer, sharing, and financing for more effective disaster risk management.

Outputs & events

The workshop 'Microfinance for Disaster Risk', organised by the World Bank's Disaster Management Facility and UNDP at the World Bank in February 2000, explored the potential for using microfinance and microinsurance services and instruments to improve disaster risk management by very poor households and communities in developing countries. The proceedings are available for download.

As a next step, a review was undertaken to document the experience to date of microfinance institutions' response to disasters. The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) collaborated by preparing practical guidelines for microfinance institutions so that they can operate more effectively during and after disaster emergencies, both in terms of protecting the institutions themselves and supporting the communities they serve in recovery. The guidelines were published in February 2005 in 'Surviving Disasters and Supporting Recovery: A Guidebook for Microfinance Institutions'.

Next Steps

Building on these efforts, a pilot project is underway that aims to develop and demonstrate innovative approaches to applying micro insurance as an instrument to help poor communities manage risk. The project, led by the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) in India, will develop a micro insurance pilot project in Gujarat State linked to AIDMI's Livelihood Relief Initiative. The project will result in a best practice guide and documentation of community risk transfer initiative.


Completed project:

'Solidarity and Opportunity' Conference: The Potential of Insurance for Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries