GFDRR-DFID Challenge Funds




The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the UK Department for International Development's (DFID) competitive Challenge Fund pilots new and innovative approaches to overcoming technical and technological challenges in order to strengthen disaster and climate risk decision-making in developing countries.

To this end, this project is supporting the development of data, products, and approaches to support disaster risk management decision-making and build resilience, including through better information, but also strengthening key steps in moving from information to insight and behaviour change.

Each challenge is focusing on the development of a database with hazard footprints, exposure information and vulnerability models. The viability of the databases will be demonstrated using exposure data for Tanzania and another DFID priority country.


The project is divided into three components. The British Geological Survey leads the development of a data schema and data for a multi-hazard database (Challenge 1) while GEM and University College London lead the development of a global exposure database (Challenge 2) and open vulnerability platform for evaluating risk (Challenge 3) respectively. GEM also contributes to Challenge Fund 1 and 3.

GEM leads Challenge Fund 2 on the development of a global exposure data framework, which includes the physical vulnerability characteristics and exposure taxonomy. The aim is to identify the most important vulnerability characteristics; ways to account for uncertainties in exposure and vulnerability models; type of assets that should be supported by the vulnerability and exposure database; and the most common and useful intensity measure types.

The objective of this project is to develop a Data Exploration Tool to promote the ability of a user to access, understand and use hazard, exposure and vulnerability data stored in a format that follows the data schema developed by the Challenge Fund consortia.



British Geological Survey (BGS)

  • leads the development of a data schema and data for a multi-hazard database (Challenge 1) 

GEM Foundation

  • leads the development of a global exposure database (Challenge 2)

University College London (UCL)

  • leads the development of open vulnerability platform for evaluating risk (Challenge 3)

Various organizations also participated and contributed to the project such as the Geological Survey of Tanzania; Ardhi University (Tanzania); Dar Es Salaam University (Tanzania); DFID Tanzania; Prime Minister's Office - Disaster Management Department (Tanzania); DoMA (Malawi); INGC (Mozambique);  Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development (Uganda); ImageCat (USA); Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT Indonesia); NSET (Nepal); IDF (Switzerland); UA (Netherlands); NGI (Norway); NOC (UK); CIMA (Italy); and UCL-EPI (UK).


The project has been successfully piloted in Tanzania for the development of an exposure model at the national scale, and to the city of Dar Es Salaam demonstrating how an exposure dataset at a building-by-building resolution can be created. The process has also been demonstrated for five countries around Tanzania (Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique) as well as Cape Verde, Senegal, Mali, Niger and in other countries outside of the African continent.

Funding partner

The Challege Funds project is funded by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) in collaboration with the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID).


2017 - 2018



Filter by
  • Publication

    GFDRR-DFID Challenge Funds 1-3 Round 2 Reports

    Data schema and data: for multi-hazard database (BGS), for global exposure database (GEM), for a global database of vulnerability functions (UCL)

  • Publication

    GFDRR-DFID Extensible Data Schemas GAR2019 paper

    Extensible Data Schemas for Multiple Hazards, Exposure and Vulnerability Data published as part of the UNDRR GAR2019 .

  • Publication

    Data schema and data for global exposure database Final Report

    GFDRR-DFID Challenge Funds Round 2

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