Registration open for Global Resilience Challenge’s Water Window

The Global Resilience Challenge’s US$10million “Water Window” offers up to US$1m in grants for innovative solutions to issues affecting flood prone communities across the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.

Registration is now open online from 29 March, registered entrants will be able to submit Concept Notes to be eligible for the scaling-up and seed grants.

  • Floods cause more damage worldwide than any other type of natural disaster and cause some of the largest economic, social and human losses1
  • While countries in Asia are most at risk, studies2 suggest that the number of people affected by the devastating impact of river flooding alone globally could triple to 54 million by 2030
  • Over the past two decades, nearly 87 percent of spending on aid went into emergency response, reconstruction and rehabilitation, and only 13 percent toward reducing and managing the risks before they became disasters

London, 22 March 2016: The Global Resilience Challenge’s “Water Window” is open for registration. From 29 March registered entrants will be able to submit Concept Notes with innovative ideas and solutions to help flood prone communities across the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia reduce their exposure to flood risks and to continue to develop in the face of uncertainty.

Successful submissions will be eligible for up to US$1 million scaling-up grants or up to US$250,000 seed grants.

The submissions should offer innovative solutions to the very real issues affecting flood prone communities. Creative thinking is encouraged and ideas should focus on technology, risk transfer and community transformation. Proposals could include scaling up existing initiatives that are already working. Full criteria for submissions will be posted here.

Luca Alinovi, Executive Director at Global Resilience Partnership, said: “Changing demographics and climate trends mean we need new ideas and approaches to help countries and communities prepare for, adapt to, and recover in the face of chronic shocks and stresses. The number of people impacted by river floods alone could nearly triple to 54 million globally by 2030. There is a real and present danger that needs addressing now.”

“We are incredibly excited to see what innovative solutions the flood pillar of the Water Window will reveal. We are expecting applicants from fields as diverse as meteorology, infrastructure design and finance. We know that each of them will be looking at seemingly unsolvable problems in new ways and from multiple perspectives – local, regional, and global.”

The Water Window has been backed by a US$10 million commitment from the Z Zurich Foundation, as part of their investment in a global flood resilience program. It is set to fund teams of social entrepreneurs, community based organizations, research, academic institutions, international non-profit organizations and private sector organizations.

Proposals should focus on innovative solutions to real problems and demonstrate a basic understanding of the drivers of community resilience to floods; an understanding of the economic, environmental, social and technical aspects of flood risk reduction, management and recovery, and how flood resilience can truly be achieved without hampering other resilience or capabilities. Full requirements can be found here.

Entrants will need to complete a Concept Note and submit it online before an 8 May 2016 deadline. Finalists will be announced at the end of August 2016 and invited to submit a detailed proposal. They will receive mentoring from Global Resilience Partnership technical experts to refine their proposals.

The evaluation panel will be drawn from a pool of technical resilience and grant specialists alongside Zurich Insurance Group and members of the Global Resilience Partnership.

Linda Freiner, Program Manager for the Zurich Flood Resilience Program, said:With an increasing number of communities being threatened by floods, it is clear that the old solutions are no longer fit for purpose. With the Water Window, we hope to support innovations that can become the next generation of solutions.

“The Water Window allows us to bring together a group with different skills but a common goal to tackle problems and find solutions for the most vulnerable people. What’s more, by working together, we can go beyond simply providing funds to become potential ‘investors’ in solutions.”

Zurich global flood resilience program

World Resources Institute

Click here to download the press release.