The Understanding Risk & Finance Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

August 07, 2015

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CALL for Session Proposals

The Understanding Risk & Finance Conference--Nov. 17-19, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia--aims to advance the risk assessment and risk financing agenda in Africa by providing a forum for policy-makers to discuss effective strategies to improve the financial post-disaster response capacity. We are seeking proposals for session topics. Please click here for session responsibilities. Find out more about the call for proposals here. To submit a proposal, send an email to Amal Ali ( and Emma Phillips (  by August 17.

Concept Note

A concept note has been created detailing the format, session themes, and partnerships. Download it here


The Understanding Risk and Finance (UR&F) conference is part of the program, “Building Disaster Resilience to Natural Hazards in Sub–Saharan African Regions, Countries, and Communities”, an initiative of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States financed by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the AUC, UN Office for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), African Development Bank and the World Bank/Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). 

The conference will serve as a launch of the Africa Disaster Risk Financing initiative, managed by the World Bank Group and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). The intiative is a capacity-building program designed to help African countries make informed decisions, improve financial response capacity post disaster and mitigate the socio-economic, fiscal and financial impacts of disasters.


The objectives of UR&F are to: (i) Provide a forum for African policy-makers to discuss effective strategies and approaches at regional, national and local levels to improve the financial post-disaster response capacity and mitigate the socio-economic, fiscal, and financial impacts of disasters; (ii) Share international best practice and global experience in disaster risk assessment and risk financing; and (iii) Facilitate the dialogue and partnership between African policy-makers and disaster risk finance experts to advance the risk financing agenda in the region.


UR&F will primarily focus on: (i) Understanding Risk: The conference will showcase and introduce new disaster risk modelling tools and applications, as well as community-based approaches for identifying risk; and (ii) Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance: The conference will introduce participants to a range of disaster risk financing tools and applications available to decision-makers to reduce the financial burden of disasters specific groups of beneficiaries.

Target Audience

The conference aims to convene 500 attendees from the Africa region, including representatives from the Ministry of Finance, DRM authorities, sector ministries, regional institutions, the financial and insurance sector, international organizations, and academia.


This conference is a regional spin-off event of the Understanding Risk (UR) Community of Practice, a global community of approximately 3300 members from more than 120 countries that convene every two years at The Global UR Forum. UR&F will be have a specific focus on the Africa region and on disaster risk financing.


The organization of the conference (program, logistics, coordination etc.) will be led by the GFDRR Innovation Lab, in close partnership with the World Bank Group Africa DRM team and the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program (DRFIP), a partnership of the World Bank Group and GFDRR.

An Advisory Committee – consisting of representatives from various African countries, as well as members of the partner organizations, will be set up with the objective of guiding the development of the agenda and to liaise with strategic partner organizations.

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