WHAT IS THE GLOBAL RESILIENCE WATER WINDOW CHALLENGE?

Zurich Insurance Group and the Z Zurich Foundation have partnered with the Global Resilience Partnership to support the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window (Water Window) addressing resilience issues of flood prone communities in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, and building on synergies with the existing work of the Global Resilience Partnership, the Global Resilience Challenge, and the Zurich Flood Resilience Program.

The Global Resilience Challenge is a competitive process intended to bring together multi-disciplinary teams to collaborate with local and regional stakeholders in the diagnosis of resilience problems and opportunities for viable, locally-driven, and high-impact solutions.

The specific objectives of the Water Window Challenge are:

to promote water resilience to a range of shocks and stresses by developing and testing novel solutions that address local contexts

with dedicated public and private sector funding, to implement and scale the most promising solutions in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia

WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF THE WATER WINDOW?

The Water Window will focus on surfacing new innovative ideas and solutions to help flood prone communities reduce their exposure to flood risks and increase their ability to grow successfully in the face of uncertainty. This moves beyond preparedness for shocks and stresses and towards enhancing resilience that sustain and improve a community’s wellbeing.

The projects need to fully embrace the concept of flood resilience to shocks and stresses in terms of human, financial, natural, social, and physical capital.

They should offer solutions to address real issues affecting flood prone communities and ideas that include a focus on one or more of the following programmatic features of the Resilience Partnership:

  • Technology
  • Innovative financing, including risk transfer mechanisms
  • Measurement and diagnostics (e.g., diagnostic tools that provide a platform for data analysis, sharing, and storage)
  • Policy and influence
  • Learning and innovation (e.g., community practices that enhance awareness, community transformation, education, engagement, female empowerment, and action orientation)

Flood Facts

  • Floods cause more damage worldwide than any other type of natural disaster and cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses
  • Over the last 20 years, flooding has affected 2.3 billion people, 95% of whom live in Asia
  • During that period, nearly 87% of spending on aid went into emergency response, reconstruction and rehabilitation and only 13% toward reducing and managing risks before they became disasters
  • Economic losses from disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and flooding now amount to an average of US$250 billion to US$300 billion each year
  • Flooding alone accounted for 47% of all weather related disasters

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Stage One - Teams for Flood Resilience
Concept Note Submissions, Evaluation and Shortlisting of Stage 1 Finalists

The Global Resilience Challenge Water Window received Concept Notes from qualified Teams beginning 29 March 2016 through to 8 May 2016. During Stage One, Concept Notes were assessed solely on the quality of the written submissions. Please see the full Source Document for all requirements and the Rules and Regulations for the competition. Out of the 212 applications received, 16 have been shortlisted to advance to Stage Two. The Stage 1 Finalist Resilience teams will be announced by end of August 2016.

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Stage Two - Action for Flood Resilience
Implementation

Proposal and Implementation Plans will be evaluated by the Resilience Partnership Selection Committee and technical assistance will be provided to the Resilience Teams to refine and enhance the potential success of their plans. The Resilience Teams will be eligible for monetary awards of either 1) up to US$ 250,000 for seed grants, or 2) up to US$ 1.0 million for scaling-up grants, for the Stage Two implementation of their Proposal to be used for building resilience to the identified problem.

The actual form and amount of awards will be determined at the discretion of the Resilience Partnership Selection Committee. Finalist Resilience Teams selected to proceed to Implementation will be required to provide a Detailed Scope of Work and Budget, and enter into an agreement with a Resilience Partnership Representative. At its sole discretion, the Resilience Partnership Selection Committee may choose to fund additional implementation by a Resilience Team based on the available evidence of impact and a clear pathway to scale, with positive impacts on millions of lives.

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Stage Three - Awards

Grant awards will be made in in the form of payments to a single representative designated by each team. That representative will be responsible for disbursing payment to other members of their team in accordance with agreements among those team members.

1 The Source Document for the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window does not give rise to any legal rights or obligations of or for any person or organization. Any monetary awards are subject to the sole discretion of the Resilience Partnership. The Resilience Partnership may, at its sole discretion, opt to award more or fewer awards, for more or less money, or no awards at all. All awards are subject to the successful negotiation of an award agreement with the Resilience Partnership Representative, and availability of funds. The Resilience Partnership reserves the right to amend this Source Document or cancel the Challenge at any time.

1. What is resilience?

The Global Resilience Partnership (Resilience Partnership) defines resilience as, “The ability of people, households, communities, countries and systems to mitigate, adapt to, recover from, thrive, and learn in the face of shocks and stresses, in order to reduce chronic vulnerability and enable sustained development, inclusive growth, and learning and transformative capacity. Building resilience is a progressive and long-term process that goes beyond humanitarian relief and development investment by addressing a wider set of inherently connected challenges that collectively prevent communities from achieving and maintaining development gains.”

2. What is flood resilience?

The Zurich Flood Resilience Program (ZFRP) defines flood resilience as, “The ability of a system, community, or society to pursue its social, ecological, or economic development and growth objectives, while managing its disaster risk over time, in a way that contributes to sustainable growth and helps to mitigate disaster risk.”

3. What is the Resilience Partnership?

The Resilience Partnership is a new model that seeks to solve today’s complex and interrelated resilience challenges by better aligning humanitarian and development planning; developing new models for accessing, integrating, and using data and information; advancing evidence-based tools and approaches to help prioritize and scale up the most promising resilience investments and innovations; and connecting civil society and governments with private sector resources and expertise.

4. What is the relationship between the Global Resilience Challenge and the Global Resilience Partnership?

The Global Resilience Challenge (Challenge) is an activity and a central component of the Resilience Partnership.

5. What is the Global Resilience Challenge and what is its purpose?

The Global Resilience Challenge (Challenge) is a competitive grant process that brings together multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary teams to identify and help solve the toughest obstacles to building resilience for populations in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. Teams that are selected to advance in the Challenge will collaborate to build and implement bold and innovative solutions that overcome those identified barriers. The objectives of the Challenge are to promote resilience by developing and testing novel solutions that address local contexts and then to implement and scale the most promising solutions in each region.

6. What is the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window?

Zurich Insurance Group and their Z Zurich Foundation have partnered with the Resilience Partnership to support the Challenge Water Window addressing resilience issues of Flood Prone Communities in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, and building on synergies with the existing work of the Resilience Partnership, the Challenge, and the Zurich Flood Resilience Program (ZFRP).

7. What are the specific objectives of the Water Window Challenge?

The specific objectives of the Water Window Challenge are two-fold:

  • to promote water resilience to a range of shocks and stresses by developing and testing novel solutions that address local contexts; and
  • with dedicated public and private sector funding, to implement and scale the most promising solutions in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.
8. What is the definition of “Innovation”?

Innovation, in the context of the Water Window, is defined as: “New ideas, new solutions, or the adaption of an existing solution/technology to work in a flood prone community. The supported solutions must address a real need and/or problem as brought out in an analysis applying the resilience concept (brought out already before the submission and thus referencing this need, or as identified in an assessment stage of the winning project), and should have real potential to be brought to scale, contextualized, and applied in other setting.”

9. Who should apply?

Interested individuals will be encouraged to form diverse teams, drawing people from various backgrounds, sectors, and organizations, with an emphasis on including local and regional stakeholders. For example, team composition may include rural and urban planners, sociologists, economists, scientists, engineers, financiers, innovators, academics, natural resource managers, humanitarian workers, and civil society members. Team members will collaborate to identify the most critical barriers to building resilience and then to develop comprehensive solutions that overcome these persistent issues.

10. How can people apply?

Teams will be able to apply to compete in the Challenge between 29 March 2016 and 8 May 2016.

Teams can learn more about the Water Window Challenge and apply to it via the Water Window Challenge website portal located at waterwindow.globalresiliencepartnership.org.

11. How many people will be on each team?

Team size will vary according to each team’s needs—this is a decision for the teams to make. Teams that successfully advance in the Challenge will have diverse, multi-disciplinary membership and will have demonstrated a credible and locally driven understanding of the barriers to building resilience in their focal region. Teams will be able to add new members in order to build their capacity and expertise as needed.

12. Does the team need to reside in the region to be eligible?

As the Water Window Challenge is intended to be a regionally led process, we encourage substantive involvement from organizations and individuals in the focal regions. Participation by at least one regional or local partner on each team is required, but the entire team does not need to reside in the region to be eligible.

13. Are the teams who apply to the Water Window Challenge expected to provide co-funding?

No. Teams are welcomed to seek supplemental funding from within their organizations or beyond, but that is not an expectation.

14. What is the timeline for the Resilience Challenge and when will awards be made?

The Water Window Challenge opens on 29 March 2016.

  • Stage One – Teams for Resilience (29 March 2016—31 August 2016)
    • 29 March 2016 – Call for Teams and period for initial questions opens.
    • 15 April 2016 – Period for initial questions ends on Call for Teams.
    • 8 May 2016 – Application deadline.
    • 9 May 2016 through 15 August 2016 – Applications evaluation and assessment; selection of finalists.
    • End of August 2016 – Public announcement of selected Finalist Resilience Teams.
  • Stage Two – Action for Flood Resilience (Begins end of September 2016)
    • 30 September 2016 – Finalist Resilience Teams submit Proposals and detailed budgets
    • October 2016 / December 2016 – Selection of Award Winners and on-going Proposal Refinement
    • January 2017 – Initial awards are made. The amount of each award will be based upon approved budgets submitted by the teams and agreed during the grant negotiation process.
    • Stage Two funds will be used to implement selected solutions and reporting thereon for a period not to extend past 31 July 2018.

For more information, refer to the Source Document for the Water Window Challenge,posted online at waterwindow.globalresiliencepartnership.org.

15. How and by whom will applications to the Water Window Challenge be judged?

Criteria have been developed by which to evaluate applications and deliverables associated with each stage of the Challenge. Jury composition will include independent experts in a broad range of development fields. Finalist teams will be selected based on their composition and the quality of the work proposal submitted. The most competitive team entries will balance deep expertise on specific issues with practical design capabilities. For more information on evaluation and selection criteria, refer to the Source Document for the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window, posted online at waterwindow.globalresiliencepartnership.org.

16. Why is the Water Window Challenge focused on the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia?

The Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia are among the most vulnerable regions in the world, and the frequency and magnitude of shocks and stresses affecting these areas continue to increase. Each of these geographies is vulnerable to a range of impacts, including but not limited to climate shocks, health crises, rapid population growth, and destabilization from conflict over natural resources, political conflict, or both.

17. How much are the funding awards for the Water Window Challenge?

The Concept Notes will be evaluated in one of two funding pools:

  • Seed grants (up to $250,000) – tailored to local organizations to invest in new ideas
  • Scaling-up grants (up to $1,000,000) – tailored to larger organizations to bring new ideas or adapted ideas to scale
18. How many teams will be funded?

We anticipate that up to twenty teams may be selected as Finalists moving onto Stage Two. These Finalist teams will work with technical and other specialists identified by the Global Resilience Partnership to refine their proposals. Of these Finalists, we anticipate that six to ten strong solutions (depending on grant size) will receive funding under the Water Window Challenge. The Resilience Partnership may, at its sole discretion, opt to award more or fewer awards, for more or less money, or no awards at all. All awards are subject to the successful negotiation of an award agreement with the Resilience Partnership Representative, and availability of funds.

19. How can I learn more about the Challenge?

For more information about the Challenge, the Global Resilience Partnership and how you can get involved, follow @grp_resilience on Twitter and visit waterwindow.globalresiliencepartnership.org. Visitors to the website are encouraged to subscribe to email alerts and receive information about webinars and other information events to be hosted by the Resilience Partnership.

20. What is the distinction between the two funding categories: 1) US$ 250,000 Seed grants up to US$ 250,000, and 2) Scaling-up grants up to US$ 1million? What qualifies for seed funding and scale-up funding? What are the criteria for each?

The distinction between the two funding pools is based on size and scope. Applications will be evaluated in two pools:

  1. Seed grants (up to US$250,000) are tailored to local organizations to invest in new ideas developed from local knowledge and innovation by people who live and work in local communities, and
  2. Scaling-up grants (up to US$ 1 million) are tailored to assisting larger organizations to bring new or adapted ideas to scale.

Both pools will be assessed against the Selection Criteria outlined in Part V, Page 10, of the Source Document for the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window. Applications will be assessed against those in their particular funding pool only.

In addition, all applications must successfully address team capacity, experience, and composition; value for money; feasibility of the implementation plan with respect to budget and timelines; as well as any anticipated effect on the environment from the proposed activities.

21. Of the five programmatic features of the Global Resilience Partnership (page 3), "self-organization, or adaptive governance" and "natural capital, or infrastructure" is missing - both essential components of a resilient system. Would submissions incorporating these components also be considered?

Yes, applications incorporating any essential component of resilient systems are encouraged. Qualifying applications need to fully embrace the concept of flood resilience to shocks and stresses in terms of human (e.g., labor, health, education, other skills, etc.), financial (e.g., savings, access to credit, etc.), natural (e.g., agriculture, rivers, land, etc.), social (e.g., social support mechanisms, information, etc.), and physical capital (housing, livestock, economic and social infrastructure, production equipment, etc.), to move beyond preparedness.

However, all submissions should offer solutions that include a focus on one or more of the five programmatic features adopted by the Global Resilience Partnership:

  1. Technology (and Infrastructure) - exploring the intersection of technology and infrastructure, including ‘natural’ infrastructure, natural and man-made disasters, and vulnerable communities;
  2. (Markets and) Innovative Financing - use of unconventional financing instruments to mobilize additional private capital for resilience, to optimize the deployment of existing investments, and to increase the sustainability of resilience initiatives;
  3. Measurement & Diagnostic – identification and promotion of leading tools and frameworks for measuring resilience; facilitation of the global dialogue on resilience measurement; developing an approach for assessing the economic, environmental, and social impacts of resilience investments; developing tools and techniques to model risk and predict resilience trends; and enhancing the visualization of information for decision makers;
  4. Policy & Influence - using insights and evidence to foster political, regulatory, and funding environments that prioritize resilience as an integral component of humanitarian response and development work, and
  5. Learning and Innovation (including Convening) - seeking to fill knowledge gaps in cross-cutting areas relevant to resilience (e.g., social capital, entrepreneurship, critical thinking) and in the Resilience Partnership Programmatic Features.
22. Can the Global Resilience Partnership please provide a broken down list of eligible countries within the Sahel, Horn of Africa and South and Southeast Asia regions?

The Global Resilience Partnership and the Global Resilience Challenge are taking a regional approach, and looking for innovative solutions that will have regional applicability across the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. Ideally, these solutions could be relevant globally, too. As such, we have not pre-defined country lists for the three focus regions.

The Water Window Challenge is unique in that it is looking for teams that can look regionally at resilience challenges, identify those challenges, and then propose solutions. As conveners, our goal is not to be prescriptive, but to provide an opportunity for experts to create and innovate. The Global Resilience Partnership reserves the right to determine a team’s eligibility in meeting the criteria as established in the “Source Document for the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window”, including proposed regions and resilience topics covered by the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window. All determinations made by the Global Resilience Partnership will be final1.

23. Will a proposal for multi-country involvement be accepted for both project grant types?

Yes, teams must identify one focus region and the Concept Note narrative should describe a locally-driven understanding of the barrier(s) to building flood resilience in the team’s focal region2 . Teams may conduct activities in particular sub-regions, specific locations, or both, but the relevance of the team’s objectives must have broader applications, both regionally and, in some cases, globally. Where interventions may cross multiple regions, teams must identify one focus region for their application submission.

24. Can one organization submit more than one proposal?

Yes, an organization may be represented on more than one team application, or serve as Team Lead on more than one team application, as long as individuals from that organization are unique to each team’s application3. There are no limits to the number of teams on which an organization may participate, i.e., organizations can participate on multiple teams in multiple regions. However, all organizations included on teams, including Team Leads, must be represented by an individual. An individual cannot be included on more than one team, regardless of the individual’s proposed role, or whether they would be focusing on different regions.

25. How many international and local partners are required?

Participation by at least one regional or local partner on each team is required, but the entire team does not need to reside in the region to be eligible. There is no required participation by international partners.

A Resilience Team is a group of at least two different multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral individuals or teams. Team size will vary according to each team’s needs—this is a decision for the teams to make. Teams that successfully advance in the Water Window Challenge will have diverse, multi-disciplinary membership and will have demonstrated a credible and locally driven understanding of the barriers to building flood resilience in their focal region. Teams will be able to add new members in order to build their capacity and expertise as needed. However, as the Water Window Challenge is intended to be a regionally-led process, we encourage substantive involvement from organizations and individuals in the focal regions.

26. Does every member of the Resilience Team need to be part of an organization or legal entity? Or is this only a requirement for the Team Leader?

Individuals are not required to be part of an organization or legal entity. Interested individuals are encouraged to form diverse teams, drawing people from various backgrounds, sectors, and organizations, with an emphasis on including local and regional stakeholders. All Team Lead applicants must be legally recognized corporate entities under applicable law, and represented by a specific individual.

27. Are United Nations agencies eligible for being part of the Resilience Teams for the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window?

Yes, United Nations agencies, as represented by specific individual(s), are eligible as team members for the Resilience Teams. However, many United Nations agencies may not be eligible to serve as Team Leads.

All Team Lead applicants must be legally recognized corporate entities under applicable law. Team Lead organizations that are ineligible are foreign governments, non-incorporated entities, and individuals4. Most, if not all, United Nations related entities are not legally recognized corporate entities; thus they would not be qualified to be a Team Lead. If a question exists, organizations should confirm legal status with their counsel. All restrictions on Team Leads and Team Members are noted in the “Source Document for the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window” Section II, Teams for Flood Resilience, and on page 12, Item B, Rules and Regulations.

28. Can the Team Leader be an administrative person at the organization concerned?

No. It is expected that the Team Lead is the person responsible for the all aspects of the team and the proposed project, serves as the main contact point with the Resilience Partnership Representative, and acts as the team spokesperson, when requested. In Stage Two, Finalists’ teams may designate additional team members or organizational personnel as points of contact for administrative matters.

29. What is the required format of the application required to upload on the Water Window website? Can you clarify if the Budget is counted as one or two pages? Can the Budget Template be uploaded separately?

All applications must be submitted in English and in PDF format, i.e., one PDF file. Text must be in 11-point font size and file size cannot exceed 10 megabytes. Applications must not exceed 8 single-sided pages (plus the one page list of budget assumptions, if applicable), including text, images, and/or drawings.

The Application PDF file must include the following information:

  1. List of Team Members (limited to one page)
  2. Concept Note (limited to five pages)
  3. Summary of Team’s Strengths and Relevant Experience (limited to one page)
  4. A Letter of Commitment and C.V. for each Team Member (not included in page limitations, however each CV should not exceed two single-sided pages per team member)
  5. Completed Budget Template (considered one page, but in fact should contain two pages, the Budget Template itself and up to one additional page of assumptions)

Budget information must be submitted using the Budget Template found on the Water Window microsite at http://waterwindow.globalresiliencepartnership.org/registration.html. The completed Budget Template Tab and Supporting Calculations Tab should both be completed, converted to PDF format, and appended to the application PDF document. The combined Budget Template Tab and one page of Supporting Calculations will be considered as one page (although physically two pages) in the total page count. All applications must be submitted no later than midnight EDT on 8 May 20165.

30. I still have unanswered questions. Who can help me?

All correspondence, including questions regarding the Challenge, should be directed to: challenge@globalresiliencepartnership.org. All questions concerning the Challenge will be accumulated, and over the course of the Challenge, consolidated responses will be posted periodically to the Resilience Partnership website: http://waterwindow.globalresiliencepartnership.org/faqs.html

Water Window Challenge Winners Announced

The Global Resilience Partnership is proud to announce that 12 fantastic innovative flood resilience projects will share a US$10 million competition pool to tackle flooding in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. See below summaries of each of the Water Window Challenge Winners’ projects;

The Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University

Project Title : Community-led holistic innovations for flood resilience in Bangladesh

The Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER) at BRAC University will test community-led innovations that enhance the resilience of households and communities before, during and after floods, and develop a future implementation strategy at scale across Bangladesh. The project solution will involve the design and testing of flood- resilient houses, and related integrated innovations such as water harvesting, cage fishing and renewable energy using a community-based participatory process.

Danish Refugee Council (DRC)

Project Title : Community Flood Resilience Programme (CFRP)

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) will help refugee communities in Kakuma, north-western Kenya, deal with flood-related shocks and stresses. The project will provide technical solutions such as improving flood response systems by capturing water when it rains, educating communities about how to anticipate floods and droughts, and helping them prepare for and adaptively respond to recurrent floods and droughts. The project will also involve establishing a mobile phone-based warning system and sharing expertise on the use of fast-maturing, hazard-resistant crop seeds.

Institute for Social and Environmental Transition International (ISET)

Project Title : River Basin Cross-border Flood Resilience Support Platform in Vietnam

The Institute for Social and Environmental Transition International (ISET) will create a participatory platform for flood risk management across two provinces, Da Nang and Quang Nam, in central Vietnam. This platform will allow the provinces to assess the potential flood impacts of current and planned development, as well as upstream reservoir management, and will provide a mechanism for exploring the trade-offs of different development scenarios and pathways. Incorporating the Quang Nam floodplain will include the entire river basin flood plain and its infrastructure into one modelling tool, allowing for integrated planning and decision-making.

Lutheran World Relief (LWR)

Project Title : Nepal-India Trans-Boundary Resilience

Lutheran World Relief (LWR) will work with communities across the Nepal-India border to boost their ability to absorb, adapt, and transform in the face of annual floods. Building on a successful 2016 pilot, the project focuses on integrated strategies to improve Early Warning Systems (EWS), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and build resilient livelihoods through cross-border community-based structures. The project will also bolster capacity to document and influence policy at the national and regional level through working with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).

Mercy Corps

Project Title : Trans-boundary Flood Risk Mitigation through Governance and Innovative Information Technology

Mercy Corps will provide an information-based model for trans-boundary collaboration and investment to create flood resilience across watersheds in Indonesia. The project takes an integrated approach to flood risk reduction, introducing innovative and user-friendly information tools for communities, government, and private sector organisations. Working with these stakeholders in vulnerable downstream urban neighbourhoods and upstream rural villages, the project will provide actionable, real-time information on flood risks and projected returns on investment from flood risk-reduction measures, strengthening structures for collaboration and coordinated action for flood risk reduction.

MetaMeta

Project Title : Roads to the Rescue

MetaMeta will support the systematic use of roads for flood resilience and begin upscaling this opportunity for wider use in the coastal regions of Bangladesh. The project aims to find ways to optimize the role of roads for flood resilience and water management, both technically and through improving governance. By bringing together government authorities, water and climate experts, and roadside communities – including women and the poor – the team will ensure that road construction efforts produce multiple benefits for all, and develop productive livelihoods, in spite of recurring flooding and high water conditions.

One Architecture

Project Title : One Resilient Team: Tacloban

One Architecture and the Philippines Reclamation Authority will pilot a program of shoreline pond and mangrove restoration, composed, in large part of restored and reforested fish ponds in the Tacloban area, to kick off the much needed implementation of the DRR "Building With Nature" masterplan as well as to serve as a pilot project for similar restorations and soft-infrastructure implementations elsewhere in the Philippine archipelago.

Practical Action

Project Title : Agricultural and Water Resilience in Coastal Areas of Bangladesh

Practical Action will use meteorological agricultural information services and the improved commercial production and marketability of flood-saline resilient crops to build resilience in vulnerable communities in Bangladesh. Focused on improving the physical, social and economic resilience of poor families in six flood-prone sub-districts of Jessore, Shatkhira and Khulna districts, the project will mitigate the negative impact of flooding and salinity on agricultural livelihoods. In particular, the project will enhance economic opportunities for poor farmers, especially women.

Seacology

Project Title : Building the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities against floods in Sri Lanka

Seacology will build resilience through a project focused on the conservation of mangroves among vulnerable communities in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. The region, one of the country’s poorest areas, continues to suffer from the effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the long-lasting civil war that ended in 2009. Mangroves are critical to building resilience: combating the effects of global climate change by absorbing up to 50 times more carbon than other types of ecosystems, acting as a natural buffer against the force of storm surges, and acting as critical nursery grounds for fish, enhancing employment opportunities.

University of Potsdam - Coastal

Project Title : Ecology and Gender Based Flood Resilience Building in Thua Thien Hue,Central Vietnam (ResilNam)

The University of Potsdam will improve the resilience of societal groups especially vulnerable to pluvial, river and coastal flooding in the Thua Thien Hue Province of Vietnam through coastal and urban projects, both with potential for upscaling. These activities will help coastal and urban communities improve resistance against chronic stress and shocks posed by flooding; improve their ability to bounce back in case the capacity to resist is exceeded; and generate learning, awareness raising and knowledge to achieve a system shift towards more inclusive approaches of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

Coastal: The project team of ResilNam-Coastal aims to enhance flood resilience in coastal communities by strengthening the role of women in disaster risk management and climate change adaptation through ecosystem-based adaptation, including the restoration, conservation and sustainable management of mangroves in Southeast Asia’s largest lagoon.

University of Potsdam - Urban

Project Title : Ecology and Gender Based Flood Resilience Building in Thua Thien Hue,Central Vietnam (ResilNam)

Urban: To enhance the flood resilience of urban communities, the project team of ResilNam-Urban will work towards the restoration, conservation and sustainable management of natural retention and drainage areas in Hue City, central Vietnam. These bottom-up nature-based solutions will provide a means to strengthen the role of women in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Together with local and regional authorities and stakeholders from civil society, ResilNam-Urban seeks to overcome existing gender differences that make women especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of floods.

University of Waterloo

Project Title : Development of Amphibious Homes for Marginalized and Vulnerable Populations in Vietnam

The University of Waterloo, Canada, will adapt a model for low-cost amphibious houses, based on those used in flood-prone areas of Louisiana, USA for decades, for the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, considering the local environmental, economic and social context. Data from the project will be used to develop a sustainable business model for replicating the housing design, and support an overall climate change adaptation strategy throughout the region and beyond.