The Global Resilience Partnership (GRP), an initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), has announced the twelve winners of the Water Window Challenge, an international competition designed to identify workable solutions to recurring flood problems in some of the world's most vulnerable communities.
The challenge, a partnership between GRP and the Z Zurich Foundation, which backed it with a commitment of $10 million, awarded grants of up to $1 million to a dozen groups working to provide innovative solutions — from flood-resilient roads to amphibious homes and protective coastal greenbelts — for flood-prone communities in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Kenya. Solutions able to demonstrate real impact will be considered for rapid scaling, with the goal of benefiting as many people as possible.
"Currently, 87 percent of disaster-related funding is spent on relief and recovery. Our goal is to instead shift funding towards resilience-building pre-event," said David Nash, manager of the Z Zurich Foundation. "The Water Window Challenge is a prime example of this and works to find innovative solutions to recurring flood problems, allowing communities to eventually thrive in the face of floods."
According to GRP, flooding has affected more than 2.3 billion people, 95 percent of them in Asia, over the past twenty years. "GRP believes that a resilience approach, where we not only look to preëmpt shocks and support people to persist through crisis, but actively seek to transform crisis into opportunity, is the only way for long term poverty alleviation," said GRP executive director Luca Alinovi. "Through the challenge, we are able to mobilize communities, the world's best experts, and researchers to innovate, challenge the norm, and benefit millions of people."
For information on the twelve winners, see the Global Resilience Partnership website.