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UNDRR GRAF: enhanced and revitalized approach in the midst of a pandemic


Aug 30, 2021

The UNDRR successfully launched the Global Risk Assessment Framework (GRAF) during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) Forum held in May 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Since then, the agency has created and organized a global collaborative framework for developing, sharing and using risk information across hazards, disciplines, and geographic scales (i.e., global to local), leveraging existing institutions and collaboration frameworks and addressing the systemic nature of risk and its cascading effects.

Over the past year, with the COVID 19 pandemic demonstrating its devastating impacts on economies and the health and well-being of millions of people worldwide, the UNDRR has developed a revised approach with concrete deliverables to give GRAF a specific focus on field implementation.

“By expanding opportunities for UN member states to benefit from global partnerships with recognized risk experts like GEM, the GRAF is accelerating access to the latest risk science in a world increasingly impacted by compound and systemic risks”, noted Jenty Kirsch-Wood, the head of Global Risk and Reporting in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction based in Geneva, Switzerland.

GRAF has four working groups, one of which is Mapping & Gap Analysis, co-chaired by GEM Secretary General, John Schneider and John Rees (British Geological Survey). The working group has provided expert advice to GRAF on understanding stakeholder needs as risk assessment information providers and users. John and John are also establishing a working group for Exposure & Vulnerability.

“The GRAF is a great opportunity to bring cohesion to the risk assessment community to help national governments in support of Sendai risk indicators and targets,” said John Schneider, GEM Secretary General. He added, “GEM is proud to support the GRAF by contributing its expertise in hazard and risk assessment as well as its experience in local-to-global collaboration on earthquakes and a range of natural hazards risk modelling issues.”

GRAF aims to strengthen the capacity of countries to develop and use risk analysis that comprehends the interconnectivity of different systems and the cascading and compound nature of risk.

The GRAF approach comprises global and country level activities. Globally, it will focus on the development of methodologies, analytics, the data visualization platform, and partnership within the UN system and across a wide range of disciplines. At the country level, GRAF will be initially rolled-out in Costa Rica, Eswatini and Pakistan in 2021.

The GRAF approach is expected to improve information available to national and local governments, planners and other stakeholders on how to manage complex, multi-hazard risks across systems, in the context of climate change.

More about GRAF at

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