The Asian Preparedness Partnership’s (APP) “Social Innovation Grand Challenge” was launched by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) on 4 May 2021. It sought to identify and support innovation from local actors in the APP member countries. The solutions centered around addressing disaster risk management (DRM) challenges pertaining to risk communications, early warning, and emergency response in their communities.

Mr. Kilian Murphy (top left), Dr. Indrajit Pal (top right), Ms. Pilar Pacheco (bottom right), and Mr. Rubaab Sood (bottom right) at the Innovation Conclave.

Mr. Kilian Murphy, Program Lead – Thematic Innovations, APP, initiated the meeting. He reflected on the purpose of the challenge is connected to the localization, “We look forward to hearing the final presentations from the applicants. They have witnessed the particular challenges of their communities and found tailored solutions to tackle them.”

Mr. Sisira Madurapperuma gave opening and closing remarks at the event.

Mr. Sisira Madurapperuma, Director of the Preparedness for Response and Resilient Recovery (PRR), gave welcoming and closing remarks. He congratulated the innovators for their efforts, “Your efforts to look for solutions in advancing DRM through new strategies that have great potential in your community and the greater region. The evaluation committee is dedicated to hearing your solutions and supporting their broader application.” 

Mr. Madurapperuma was followed by introductions and words of encouragement from the evaluation committee. They consisted of Dr. David Ganz, Executive Director, RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests; Mr. Hans Guttman, Executive Director at ADPC; Ms. Pilar Pacheco, Senior Program Officer, Emergency Response – Global Development Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr. Indrajit Pal, Assistant Professor and Chair, Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Management, Asian Institute of Technology and Mr. Rubaab Sood, Innovation and DRM Expert, India.

Mr. Guttman also served as the chairperson for the evaluation committee at the conclave.

Mr. Guttman also served as the chairperson for the evaluation committee. He elaborated on the importance of events such as the conclave – “Innovation is a significant principle of the ADPC. We look forward to hearing and fostering these new solutions with a particular focus on social impact. Today’s innovators are creating that impact within their communities and we hope to collaboratively scale these solutions to a wider region.”

Each of the nine applicants presented their proposals which were followed by the question & answer session with the evaluation committee. The evaluation committee acknowledged the efforts of the applicants and encouraged them to continue their efforts to foster local innovations because the most effective solutions come from those who understand the unique challenges of their communities. The APP Secretariat will announce the winner of the grant shortly. Stay tuned for updates on the APP web portal and social media. 

Cover Photo by Freepik.