Challenge 1: Building Back Better to Reduce the Impact of Future Disasters

What's the challenge?

Enhance resiliency and integrate disaster risk reduction during the recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction phase. Consider how to use technology-driven solutions to take action in anticipation of events, strengthen key infrastructure including buildings, roads, and hospitals, and ensure capacities are in place for effective response and recovery at all levels in the future.

Why is this needed?

Research shows when countries rebuild stronger, faster, and more inclusively after a natural disaster, the impact on individuals' livelihood and well-being can be reduced by more than 30 percent, cutting losses from $555B to $382B per year.  As climate change increases, countries will benefit from placing an even greater priority on more resilient, swift, and inclusive recovery and reconstruction processes. Building back better, stronger, and faster after a natural disaster is one of the best ways to reduce impact and end the cycle of poverty.

Where to learn more

Technical resources and idea starters

Challenge 2: Improving Flood and Drought Prevention and Response

What's the challenge?

Water-related disaster events are becoming more frequent and more severe, leading to specific issues for affected communities. Preventing floods and improving our response to them can significantly mitigate loss of life and property damage. How can technology help communities improve their flood prevention and response while ensuring access to clean water in the aftermath of a natural disaster?

Why is this needed?

Access to clean water immediately after a natural disaster is one of the greatest issues facing communities around the world. After floods, even though there is no shortage of water, access to clean water that communities need for life is essential.

Where to learn more

Technical resources and idea starters

Challenge 3: Humanitarian Protection in Times of Disaster 

What's the challenge?

Ensure that all populations and demographics receive equal access to humanitarian action and assistance following a natural disaster. Identify the most excluded and at-risk populations that are commonly overlooked, in order to incorporate technologies to provide adequate warnings ahead of time about impending natural disasters. Set up contingency plans that medically vulnerable individuals might need during and after a disaster.

Why is this needed?

The elderly, disabled, and impoverished are statistically more likely to experience the adverse effects of natural disaster, including loss of property and loss of life. Studies show individuals with disabilities or health issues consistently have much higher rates of mortality - up to twice as much as the general population. By targeting equal humanitarian efforts across the board, overall mortality rates can be drastically reduced post-disaster.

Where to learn more

Technical resources and idea starters

Challenge 4: Accountability and Centrality of Protection for Affected Populations​

What's the challenge?

Ensure that people affected by humanitarian crises, particularly following natural disasters, are able to participate in decision making, provide feedback to aid workers and agencies, and make complaints about human rights violations. Ensure first responders are educated and able to identify human rights violations and confidently use relevant human rights guidance when designing and implementing their response following natural disaster.

Why is this needed?

According to the UNISDR study "Economic Losses, Poverty & Disasters 1998-2017," low and lower-middle income countries carried a disproportionate burden in terms of disaster deaths, experiencing 43 percent of all major recorded disasters in the past 20 years but the greatest proportion (68 percent) of fatalities. In short, the world's most vulnerable populations are those that suffer the greatest in times of natural disaster.

Where to learn more

Technical resources and idea starters

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