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Vol. 8, No. 4 October-December 2002

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Applied Grants for Disaster Risk Reduction


The ProVention Consortium is a global coalition of governments, international organizations, academic institutions, the private sector, and civil society organizations aimed at reducing disaster impacts in developing countries.  The Consortium functions as a network to share knowledge and to connect and leverage resources to reduce disaster risk.  It focuses on synergy and coordination so that efforts, and benefits, are shared.

The ProVention Consortium is sponsoring a competitive forum to support innovative disaster risk management projects and encourage competent professionals in developing countries dedicated to reducing disaster risk.  Students and young professionals from developing countries are invited to propose creative projects and ideas.  These proposals may include research projects, professional internships or professional development programs.  Applications will be screened by a jury consisting of ProVention Consortium partners.  Awards will be made to proposals with the potential of making a significant contribution to the field.  The selected projects will be awarded with of maximum grant of US $5000 and must be completed within six months of award under the guidance of the a faculty advisor or a mentor who is a disaster professional.


Proposals can focus on the links between disasters, poverty and the environment, and should fall into three general categories: (i) hazard and risk identification, (ii) risk reduction, and (iii) risk sharing/transfer.  Field work is encouraged at all levelsócommunity to regional to national.  Proposals may also look at lessons learned from past or ongoing activities.

1. Risk Identification: Assessing Hazards, Vulnerability and the Impacts of Disasters

Any effective strategy to manage disaster risk must begin with an identification of what the hazards are and what is vulnerable to them. Thus, proposals will be supported which explore how informed decisions can be made on where to invest, and how to design sustainable projects that will withstand the impacts of potential hazard events.  A more complete understanding of the full economic, financial, and social impacts of disasters on a country can demonstrate the importance of including risk reduction measures in any development strategy.

2. Risk Reduction: Avoiding Hazards and Reducing Vulnerability

The risk of disaster can be reduced by reducing either the hazard or the vulnerability (or both). Strategies to avoid hazards (e.g., earthquake zones) include land use and development planning.  Resistance strategies (e.g., building codes) ensure that safe structures are built that can withstand the effects of extreme events.  Projects can address the need for scientific and technical knowledge.  They can also consider how to overcome the socioeconomic, institutional and political barriers to the adoption of effective risk reduction strategies and measures in developing countries.  Other possibilities include activities aimed at heightening the awareness of stakeholders to the threat of natural disasters and what can be done about it, and educational and training activities that increase the understanding of policy makers, decision makers and practitioners about disaster management.

3. Risk Sharing/Transfer: Protecting Investments and Sharing the Costs

The competition also welcomes proposals exploring possibilities for protecting investments and advancing disaster risk awareness.  These mechanisms may include traditional insurance tools, or those that assist the very poor to more effectively manage disaster risk, such as safety nets, calamity funds, or informal insurance arrangements.


Proposals will be reviewed to ensure that they conform with the following criteria:

1.  Candidate is national of a developing country.  Students who are citizens of developing countries but working in industrialized countries are also eligible.

2.  Candidate is 35 years old or younger.  Applicants may apply as a team, however, a team leader must be designated.  All team members must be 35 years old or younger, and the team leader must be a national of a developing country. 

3.  Candidate is student or professional staff member of organization addressing disaster risk management.  Applicants must be students pursuing either a bachelorís, masterís or doctoral degree from an accredited college or university OR a professional staff member of an organization working on disaster risk management registered in a developing country..  Each applicant is required to name a faculty advisor or professional mentor and provide an endorsement letter from that person and his/her administrative supervisor.

4.  Project has a six month implementation timeframe.  As the proposals are meant to be pilot activities to "test" an idea or approach, they must entail a time frame for implementation of no more than six months from the start of the project. The intent of the grants program is to encourage the next generation of researchers and practitioners by publicly recognizing their potential and providing them with the financial resources for the completion of projects that demonstrate potential solutions to disaster management problems. 

5.  Maximum grant award amount.  Awards may vary in size based on the needs of the proposals that are selected.  The maximum size of a ProVention Consortium grant award is US$5,000.

6.  All applications and project documentation must be submitted in English.


Winning proposals will be those which best present ideas that address the ProVention Consortiumís priorities in reducing disaster impacts in developing countries in a sustainable way.  In addressing these focus areas, proposals should seek to answer the following questions:


  • In what way is your idea innovative or different to existing approaches that you are aware of in how it attempts to address one or more aspect of the two themes?
  • To what extent does your idea address the links between poverty and disaster risk reduction in developing countries?
  • Will your idea be sustainable beyond the pilot phase ? What characteristics of your proposal would you highlight to suggest this?
  • What is the possibility of your idea being used elsewhere? By a different organization or in a different region/country?


  • How does your idea and its implementation plan demonstrate a high potential for results while maintaining cost-effectiveness?
  • Can you demonstrate that your idea has ownership among a broad community and institutional base?
  • Does the idea include a component of learning, both for those directly involved in the work and for others who may benefit although may not be directly involved?

Proposals will be evaluated for their innovativeness, feasibility, project design, and utilization potential.  Final decisions may also reflect the need for regional coverage and a desired mix of project types.



  • All proposals must be submitted in English and adhere to the format provided below.

  • After the submission deadline, all proposals may be placed in the public domain of the ProVention Consortium, including posting on our web site.

  • For more details, please refer to the PROPOSAL OBJECTIVES, CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY and GUIDELINES.

  • When printed, proposals must not exceed three (3) pages.  Proposals exceeding this length will not be considered.


Your proposal outline should cover the following:

1. TITLE of your idea: 

This will eventually become the project name.

2. APPLICANT information and contact details:

Include details on your nationality, date of birth, and a brief summary of your academic background and/or professional experience.  If applying as part of a team, provide listed information on all team members and indicate who is the team leader.  You must provide full contact information including email address if you have one.  

3. GEOGRAPHICAL coverage

Indicate whether the project includes activities in a specific country, several countries (name them), a region or if they are global in scope.

4. FOCUS area

Please indicate one theme which is best addressed by your idea.

--Risk Identification

--Risk Reduction

--Risk Sharing/Transfer


To facilitate future retrieval, please select a maximum of three (3) keywords that are most applicable to your idea.

6. DESCRIPTION of your idea (not to exceed 2 pages or 1000 words)

--Briefly describe the goals and objectives of the idea, as well as the methods and procedures to be used in the project. 

--Consult the PROPOSAL OBJECTIVES, CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY and GUIDELINES to ensure that your idea lies within the three focus areas and addresses the relevant Design and Implementation questions.

--Provide a description of the major activities, the expected utility of the project, and its intended beneficiaries.

7. Project COST:

Provide a brief statement of the idea's need for funding in order to achieve the stated objectives.  If the funds are to be leveraged with those from other sources, differentiate between funding requested from the ProVention Consortium and funds coming from others.  The budget breakdown should cover these items:

    • Direct costs
    • Fees
    • Travel and subsistence


Each applicant is required to name a faculty advisor or professional mentor and provide an endorsement letter from that person and his/her administrative supervisor. There is no requirement that such work be part of a masterís thesis or Ph.D. dissertation project, although this is allowable.  If the work is to be part of a thesis or dissertation project, please indicate that.



The ProVention Consortium prefers receiving proposals via email. 

Proposals must be received by 28 FEBRUARY 2003 using our email at:
Risk Grants <

If you do not have access to e-mail or the internet and are applying by paper mail, you must allow for additional processing time, so your proposal must be received by 21 FEBRUARY 2003 at this address:

ProVention Consortium Risk Grants
Disaster Management Facility
The World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC  20433

Grant awards will be announced o/a 30 April 2003

This information is also available at our web site at


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