The Global Resilience Project (GRP) aims to shift the focus of governments, NGOs, communities and businesses to investing in upfront measures that reduce disaster risk, rather than post-disaster relief and recovery efforts. The GRP seeks to do this by deepening understanding of disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities globally, identifying the economic and social costs of disasters, and assessing the effectiveness of DRR measures. This information will be used to provide insight into effective insurance industry engagement strategies that can be carried out by the PSI Initiative and its members with governments, NGOs, communities and businesses to support DRR activities, particularly in highly exposed and vulnerable countries.

The GRP has three phases. Phase I delivered a global research report, “Building disaster-resilient communities and economies,” which was launched at a major PSI event in London in June 2014. The report identified and assessed the effectiveness of a range of DRR measures for the three natural hazards that have caused the most devastation in terms of economic and social costs: cyclone, flood and earthquake. The research focused on net economic benefit, net social benefit, and the relative cost of a range of DRR measures. It highlighted learnings from behavioural, ecosystem, and structural DRR measures, and identified effective, actionable DRR measures that help build disaster resilience.

Phase II of the GRP builds on Phase I by developing global and country natural disaster risk maps, highlighting the economic and social devastation caused by cyclones, floods and earthquakes and areas of high exposure and vulnerability to these natural hazards. The maps will demonstrate this by reflecting relevant information such as population density, economic hubs, and insurance penetration and density. The maps will identify and assess the effectiveness of behavioural, ecosystem and structural DRR measures in each country, the findings of cost-benefit analyses, relevant insurance schemes and regulatory frameworks, and DRR policy approaches based on funding prioritisation of governments. The Phase II report will outline key recommendations to develop and implement effective DRR strategies and approaches. It is scheduled to be completed by May 2015.

Based on the findings of the first two phases, Phase III of the GRP will focus on global outreach and stakeholder engagement (e.g. governments, NGOs, communities, businesses), in line with the view that cost-effective investments in pre-disaster resilience are critical to building disaster-resilient communities and economies. This, in turn, can lead to more viable, affordable, accessible and scalable insurance solutions. The PSI Initiative will develop supportive country-level stakeholder engagement strategies and plans. It is also giving consideration to developing an insurance industry-led Global Resilience Information Network. This network could serve as a platform for open and inclusive collaboration on knowledge and experiences, including inputs from PSI members, academics and NGOs. Phase III will start in June 2015.