16 Teams Selected to Develop Innovative Solutions to Global Resilience Challenges

The Global Resilience Partnership today announced 16 teams selected to move forward in the Global Resilience Challenge. Teams were chosen from among nearly 500 applicants across six continents. In applying for the Global Resilience Challenge, teams were asked to submit their vision and plan for taking a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach to solving the greatest resilience challenges across the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and South and Southeast Asia.

The selected resilience topics, team leaders, and lead organizations, designated by focus region are:


  • “Scaling Resilient Rural Livelihoods in Ecologically Fragile Drylands of the Sahel,” Peter Gubbels and Fatoumata Batta, Groundswell International
  • “Linking Social and Financial Capital to Enhance Resilience of Agro-Pastoral Communities (LEAP) in Niger and Mali,” Julie Snorek, Mercy Corps, and Adrien Champey, PlaNet Finance

Horn of Africa

  • “Integrated Landscape Management for Resilience in the Horn of Africa,” Araya Asfaw, Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre & Network, and Sara Scherr, EcoAgriculture Partners
  • “Mitigating Pastoralists’ Risks: Livestock Trade in the Horn of Africa,” Tate Munro, Mercy Corps, and Tim Frankenberger, Tango International
  • “Connecting Roads, Groundwater and Livelihoods: Roads for Climate Resilience: Optimizing the Hydrological Potential of the Rural Infastructure,” Frank Van Steenbergen and Assefa Kumsa, MetaMeta Research
  • “Dialling Up Resilience: Mobilizing ICTs to Enhance Bottom-up Resilience Measurement, Programming, and Governance in the Horn of Africa,” Lindsey Jones, Overseas Development Institute, and Philip Thorton, CGIAR
  • “Meteorological Early Warning Systems to Build Resilience to Acute Climate-Induced Shocks,” Nick van de Giesen and John Davidov, Stichting TAHMO

South and Southeast Asia

  • “Crowdsourcing Community Resilience in Urban Slums,” Robert Laprade and Ian O’Donnell, The American Red Cross
  • “New Measurement Technologies for Resilience-Building,” Manisha Bhinge, BRAC USA
  • “Building Resilience of Smallholder Farmers in Southeast Asia,” Christina Chao and Geraldine Diaz Ko, The Grameen Foundation
  • “Private Sector Action to Build Resilient Supply Chain Communities,” Stephanie Rust and Matthew DeGroot, Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • “Increasing Resilience in the Ramsar Sites of the Lower Mekong Basin,” Robert Mather and Raphael Glemet, International Union for Conversation of Nature
  • “Devising Local Coping Mechanisms and Adaption Technologies to Build Climate-Resilience Capacities of the Urban Poor in South Asia,” Renana Jhabwala and Bijal Brahmbhatt, Mahila Housing SEWA Trust
  • “Climate Change Challenges and Community Adaption in Coastal Bangladesh (CCAD),” J. Craig Jenkins and C.K. Shum, Ohio State University
  • “Building Coastal Resilience in South & Southeast Asia through Mangrove Restoration for Risk Reduction,” Michael Beck, The Nature Conservancy, and Jane Carter Ingram Wildlife Conservation Society
  • “Disability and Disasters: Empowering People and Building Resilience to Risk,” Emma Calgaro and Dale Dominey-Howes, University of Sydney

“The diversity and ambitions of the hundreds of teams that applied is another testament to the incredible momentum and interest in building resilience,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “The teams named today have bold and innovative ideas for getting ahead of the next crisis in a way that will make millions of lives better day-to-day, so that they and their communities realize a resilience dividend – investments that yield positive economic and social impacts every day particularly for poor and vulnerable people, and that can prevent disruptions from becoming disasters.”

The Global Resilience Challenge is a three-stage grant competition led by the Global Resilience Partnership, a $150 million effort of The Rockefeller Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to help the global community pivot from being reactive in the wake of disasters to driving evidence-based investments to better manage and adapt to inevitable shocks. Teams moving forward in the Challenge comprise scientists, policy practitioners, humanitarians, and a host of experts from across dozens of other disciplines. With up to $200,000 in next stage funding, these 16 teams will explore the effects of persistent cycles of drought, storms, famine, and other disasters on vulnerable populations in each of the focus regions, and identify locally driven, scalable solutions that can help communities and households adapt to and recover from chronic shocks and stresses, while reducing vulnerabilities.

“Through the Global Resilience Challenge, we are pioneering a new model of development—one grounded in innovation, public-private partnerships, and relentless focus on results,” said USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. “By collaborating with a global community of innovators, we will unlock game-changing solutions that not only build resilience, but give millions of the world’s most vulnerable people a pathway out of extreme poverty.”

The teams proceeding to Stage Two of the competition will further develop their problem statements, examining the root causes of the challenges present in their regions and propose solutions and implementation plans for their concepts. In Stage Three, the best plans will be funded with up to $1 million to implement and scale up these solutions in each region.

“We look very much forward to following the inspiring ideas in this great effort which opens up for many new possibilities in the interception between resilience and development,” said Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director General at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. “Several selected teams show bold steps and daring solutions for a more resilient society.”