The Application period will open from November 28 through January 15, 2023. Register here to be notified when nominations are open!

Provide a maximum 5-page summary (single-spaced, 12-size font) that makes the case for why and how a particular intervention was successful at mitigating a potential disaster. Case summaries should include:

  • Introduction of the organization, intervention and disaster averted

  • Evidence/counterfactual evidence of the disaster averted. This can be in the form of previous hazard records, datasets, etc. Counterfactual scenarios and evidence should be provided in cases of unseen or future disaster.

  • Future benefits of the intervention

  • Key lessons that have been learned and can be shared

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The Averted Disaster Award will be decided by a panel of judges selected by leaders of the Understanding Risk community. The panel will consist of thought leaders and practitioners in disaster risk management from a broad range of backgrounds. The panel will consider all case summaries submitted by the deadline, and choose the one that makes the best case for an effective disaster mitigation intervention.

Judging Criteria

Judges will assess each application against the following criteria:

  • Level of Impact of the Disaster Averted
  • Quality of Evidence Based Results
  • Potential to Replicate Adapt and Scale
  • Levels of Inclusivity, Equity and Focus on the Most Vulnerable
  • Narrative Clarity and Contribution to Understanding Risk and Risk Mitigation

What types of disaster mitigation interventions can be submitted for the award?

Interventions take many forms. The most obvious interventions are structural in nature, such as sea-walls or reinforced bridges. Certain activities, such as controlled forest burns, count as interventions too, since they reduce future wildfire risk. Financial products that manage disaster risk, such as flood insurance schemes, count as interventions as well. Interventions can also occur at the individual or community scale, where, for example, placing sandbags to protect critical locations such as grocery stores or hospitals can ensure that the community as a whole can recover more quickly from flash floods. It is important to keep in mind that interventions are proactive and not reactive: interventions are generally pre-meditated and implemented before the disaster occurs.

Who can submit to the Averted Disaster Award?

Any individual, project team, or organization interested in recognizing a successful disaster mitigation intervention can submit a nomination for a particular intervention, irrespective of whether they have a personal connection to the intervention.

Selection committee

The Averted Disaster Award Selection Committee is comprised of thought leaders and practitioners in the field of Disaster Risk Management (DRM).  Selection Committee members apply their expertise without bias to review applications and collaborate to determine the shortlist of finalists and winner of the ADA prize.

David Lallemant. PHD

Head of Disaster Analytics for Society Lab (DASL) at Nanyang Technological University and the Earth Observatory of Singapore

David’s work is the basis for the Averted Disaster Award. “Shedding light on avoided disasters : measuring the invisible benefits of disaster risk management using probabilistic counterfactual analysis” will be featured as a contributing paper in the upcoming UNDRR Global Assessment Report 2022.  His research focuses on probabilistic risk and resilience analysis of cities, communicating uncertainties in disaster risk, and the uses and limitations of machine learning in disaster risk analysis. David holds a PhD from Stanford University (2015), a MSc from UC Berkeley (2010) and a BSc from MIT (2007). He is a recipient of the National Research Foundation Fellowship, and the Collaborative Data Innovation for Sustainable Development Fund. He is the co-founder of the Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative at Stanford University, and the Co-Risk Labs cooperative.

Shanna N. Mcclain, PHD

NASA, Disasters Program Manager

Dr. Shanna N. McClain is the Disasters Program Manager for NASA’s Earth Sciences/Applied Sciences Program. In this role, she leads a dynamic team across NASA centers on issues relating to enhancing and integrating Earth science capabilities for supporting disaster response, reducing disaster risk, and building resilience. She helps define NASA’s role in resilience through the development of EO-focused approaches in fragile and crisis-affected areas, and identifying strategic and non-traditional partnerships that can improve linkages between science and policy. Shanna also serves as Manager of the Earth Sciences Division’s Global Partnerships and Program Coordinator to the NASA Applied Sciences Valuables Consortium. Here, her work involves creating thriving private-sector engagements that bring NASA capabilities to global communities and amplifying the societal and economic benefits of Earth science information.

Professor Koh Chan Ghee

Director, Lloyds Registry Foundation

Professor Koh Chan Ghee is an established civil engineering professor with research and education experience in his domain of expertise in structural dynamics. He obtained his Ph.D. in earthquake engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 1986. He is currently the Director of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Institute for the Public Understanding of Risk and the Director of Centre for Hazards Research at NUS. He has published more than 250 international journal papers and conference papers. He was a recipient of the prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship awarded by the Commission of the European Communities, as well as the IES Best Paper Award. A registered professional engineer (civil), he has been engaged as an advisor/consultant in more than 120 projects including many major infrastructure developments in the region.

Stéphane Hallegatte

Senior Climate Change Adviser at World Bank

Stéphane Hallegatte is a Senior Climate Change Adviser at the World Bank. He joined the World Bank in 2012 after 10 years of academic research in environmental economics and climate science for Météo-France, the Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement, and Stanford University. His research interests include the economics of natural disasters and risk management, climate change adaptation, urban policy and economics, climate change mitigation, and green growth.