Disaster risk management (DRM) operations are becoming more complex and costly. The total damage of catastrophes has increased by more than 800% from USD 18 million annually in the 1980s to USD 167 billion a year in the last decade. These impacts required updated technologies, approaches, and tools. They also call for efficient and cost-effective solutions that are easily accessible and adaptable. Investing in disaster risk reduction (DRR) reduces overall financial impacts. An annual investment of USD 6 billion in DRR could result in a total of USD 360 billion in risk reduction benefits until 2030. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030 emphasizes promoting the use and investment in innovation as well as expanding platforms for innovation. It also recognizes the need to enhance access to science and inclusive innovation in developing countries and support for innovation and technology. 

Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP) strives to foster innovation for DRM in Asia. It considers several actions as key enablers for innovation:

The partnership considers that these strategies will facilitate the progress of innovative approaches for locally-led DRM as well as promote these practices through dissemination mechanisms in the region. APP envisions a conducive environment for institutionalized efficient and cost-effective DRM actions led by local actors.


APP envisions a transdisciplinary and holistic approach is essential in integrating natural and social sciences with streams such as information communication technology (ICT), engineering, and legal and policy framework. It will enable transdisciplinary systems and break down barriers to innovation. The three priority areas below have the potential to enhance innovations for DRM:



Innovating with APP: Supporting Social Innovations for Disaster Risk Management 




Humanitarian Resilience Journal 8 - Localization Through Innovative Approaches

Social Innovation Grand Challenge

The ‘Social Innovation Grand Challenge’ was launched in May 2021. It is a part of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center’s (ADPC) growing role as a facilitator to promote innovation practices for DRM. The initiatives seek to identify innovative solutions from local actors to address DRM-related challenges. The challenge focuses on supporting innovation solutions under the themes of risk communications, early warning, and emergency response in APP countries.


The Seventh APP Regional Steering Committee Meeting and Innovation Forum


Announcement of the Winners of the APP Social Innovation Grant Challenge!


Co-Creation Phase Innovation Conclave


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. Our ‘Unlocking the Future: Novel Approaches to DRM for a Safer Asia’ webinar brought experts and practitioners together for their insights on progressing innovation in DRM. It was moderated by Dr. Valerie Bemo (Deputy Director, Emergency Response, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). Our panelists included: 
Abdulla Khoory (Grant Manager, Expo 2020 Dubai Representative) 
Rubaab Sood (Head, Disaster Risk Management & Social Entrepreneurship, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), India) 
Muhammad Idrees Mahsud (Member (Disaster Risk Reduction), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan)
Sisira Madurapperuma (Director, Preparedness for Response and Recovery (PRR), ADPC)

ADPC Innovation

The ‘India DRM Innovation Challenge’ is a joint initiative by ADPC and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). It seeks to identify and support innovation in India as part of the “COVID-19: PROSPER-India Program Support to Bihar Government (INCOV)”. 

Click the link to find out more: Launching SARTHI Initiative.

Cover Photo: K3Star/