Global Risk Identification Programme

Workers plant mangrove seedlings in an estuary in Bali, Indonesia at low tide to help fight erosion. UNDP assists countries around the world to adapt to the effects of climate change. Photo Credit: Tim Laman


Analyzing and understanding disaster risk is a critical first step in the process of reducing that risk. UNDP provides advice and support to disaster prone developing countries through risk management programmes, so that governments are better able to understand, predict and anticipate disasters and the potential damage they may cause. A UNDP supported E-Library provides resources to governments as part of this programme.


Officially launched in 2007, the Global Risk Identification Programme (GRIP) has been adopted by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction system to support worldwide activities to identify and monitor disaster risks. Although hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), dozens of organizations have been involved in its preparation, design and implementation. GRIP aims to promote sustainable development by reducing the impact of natura l hazards on development.

With the mission of providing “Better risk information for sound decision making”, it promotes the generation of evidence-based risk information and facilitates its application to improve the quality of policy/decision making at public sectors.

To achieve its objectives, GRIP mainly focuses its work on the following 3 aspects:

•  Improve Coordination at global, regional and national levels to avoid duplication of efforts, optimize resources and increase effectiveness in disaster risk reduction.


• Promote Quality by developing minimum standards for risk information and establishing the necessary Quality Control mechanisms.


• Provide Integrated Support by compiling and coordinating capacity development resources that support risk assessment implementation at all levels.

Support and services to countries

The Global Risk Identification Programme has assisted about 40 countries in understanding their risks. It supports the countries to establish National Disaster Observatories and National Risk Information Systems to integrate all existing disaster and risk related information and make it available to all potential users.

Risk assessments are implemented at national and local levels to assist the countries in the preparation of National Strategies for Disaster Risk Management and Action Plans for the management of Urban and Sectoral risks. Risk considerations are integrated into development planning and investments. By supporting national institutions and engaging all sectors of society in these processes, UNDP develops local capacities and creates an enabling environment for implementing these strategies. The new knowledge of risks is often incorporated into school books and curricula to promote a culture of prevention.

Key Achievements to date

Better risk information for sound decision making:

•   Laos has completed its National Risk Assessment and developed a comprehensive National Hazard Risk Profile for formulating its national Disaster Risk Management Strategy. Laos’ is the 1st National Risk Profile of this kind in a high-risk developing country.


•   Armenia, Mozambique, Lebanon, Nepal, and Tajikistan have completed their comprehensive Country Situation Analysis for risk assessment and are implementing National Risk Assessments for the development of their National Disaster Risk management Strategies. 


•  Local level:  On behalf of the Emergency Shelter Cluster and in collaboration with UN-Habitat and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), GRIP supported Tijuana in Mexico, Kathmandu in Nepal and Maputo in Mozambique to carry out Urban Risk Assessments that were being applied to prepare Pre-Disaster shelter plans.

Improved National coordination and institutionalization leading to transformational change:

Armenia: With the support of GRIP, UNDP-Armenia is assisting the Ministry of Emergency Situations in the establishment of a National Disaster Observatory (NDO) as a sustainable institution for the systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of disaster data to support national DRR policies and strategies. In April this year, the Minister of Emergency Situations has signed the decree on the establishment of the NDO as part of the Crisis Management Center of Armenia. The NDO will be integrated into the National DRM Strategy to strengthen Disaster Data Management in the country.

Bosnia: the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is leading the establishment of the NDO with the support of GRIP and UNDP-BiH. The NDO will provide key information to national and regional operational centers 112 to support decision making processes at national and regional levels, as agreed in Belgrade in May 2010.

•  Mozambique: During the First-phase of a comprehensive, multi-year Risk Assessment Programme aimed at producing a National Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Strategy and DRM and Contingency Action Plans for Maputo, the capital city, national institutions have developed a 30-year historical disaster loss database, the National Risk Information System, and the Risk Assessment for Maputo. These products will be submitted to the Government of Mozambique in a National Workshop presided by the Prime Minister that will be held in May 2011. The second phase of the programme will be officially launched at the mentioned event.

Integrated support and partnership creation:

•  With the main objective of Delivering as One in Risk Assessment, GRIP is leading an inter-agency partnership with WHO, UNICEF, IFRC, UN-Habitat, UNHCR and UNISDR. This partnership is organizing a Side Event at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction that will be held in Geneva in May 2011 to showcase the risk assessment achievements in selected countries and present Nepal as a pilot project for inter-agency integrated country support.


•   GRIP has signed an agreement with the Geneva International Service and the Swiss Association of Engineers and Architects to have Swiss experts providing capacity development and technology transfer to local institutions and experts in Mozambique and assisting them in the implementation of the National Flood Risk Assessment. The work will start in May 2011 and will be partially funded by the USD 500,000 contribution by the Geneva International Service.


• GRIP has signed an agreement with Shanghai National University to establish a GRIP Center of Excellence with funds provided by the Chinese Government. Besides the creation of the Center of Excellence, the agreement contemplates development of practices in disaster risk assessments in China, within GRIP’s methodological framework; provision of technical support and services to other countries to enhance South-South Collaboration in disaster risk assessments, with a focus on capacity development; and implementation of joint fund raising activities to support the agreed collaboration.