Worldwide Projects

GEM relies on and promotes different types of partnerships. Organisations can become partners in the Foundation, governing and steering the effort, but also contribute by setting up independent projects that are aimed at applying the knowledge, resources and tools generated within this collaborative effort across the globe.  

The following examples give you an idea of the range of alliances already been shaped:

Facilitating risk management and reduction across a continent

The Swiss Re Foundation and the GEM Foundation have joined forces in a three-year collaborative project to create the first-ever comprehensive picture of seismic risk in South America to incorporate social and economic factors. International and local experts will assess potential physical damage as well as the broader community consequences of earthquakes in this rapidly developing region.

A special focus is put on the development of two urban risk scenarios for the highly vulnerabie cities of Quito in Ecuador and Lima in Peru, involving local (policy-making and executive) institutions and agencies. Read more.

More on the "Assessment of Seismic Risk in South America" from the Swiss Re Foundation



Breaking boundaries in California

The California Seismic Safety Commission and the GEM Foundation are going to apply OpenQuake tools in California, working on 2 different projects. One project concerns modelling of recovery processes and the other one is looking at the impact of earthquakes on the socio-economic context and improved preparedness.

  • Recovery: This project is going to measure how specific policy decisions could hasten recovery of the building stock after a possible future earthquake
  • Improved Preparedness: This project is aimed at increasing post-earthquake economic resilience, through increased insight and knowledge sharing on earthquake modelling

The projects are being discussed as we write. The output of the projects will reach far beyond the region or even the United States, and can be used by public agencies worldwide for improved preparedness and fastened recovery.


Enhancing datasets for local risk assessment

The global datasets that are being developed – some of which can already be used - form the basis for risk assessment at a national level and provide a common standard for sharing and storing data. The datasets put together in only a few years, have a great potential to grow over time, incorporating evermore information that will facilitate risk assessment also at sub-national, city and even community level. 

In order for datasets such as the active faults database, or the global exposure database, (available on the OpenQuake by the end of 2014), to be enriched and enhanced, we use different approaches: 

1. Through a variety of so-called “crowd-sourcing tools” (being developed as part of OpenQuake), where field data or knowledge can be processed through an app or other type of desktop tool. The Android app on data inventory is such example. 

2. Collaboration with public agencies, research groups, organisations and individuals to incorporate their datasets directly, or through them, the data of their members of beneficiaries. For example: 

  • IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers)  sent an email out to 3.000 of their members worldwide asking for their collaboration on building stock data for the Global Exposure Database
  • EERI's World Housing Encyclopedia team is collaborating on the GEM Building Taxonomy and has so far managed to obtain 217 reports from 49 countries to create a shared knowledge-base on buildings worldwide
  • RIMES and AIT facilitated a workshop with fault experts from the Asia/Pacific region to discuss together faults in the region and work with GEM's active fault tool

There are many more ways where collaboration can lead to win-win opportunities. Visit  the "Partner with GEM" page to see how you and GEM can join forces.