2017 RISK Award: Information and Communication - Call for proposals

"Information and Communication:  Innovative Concepts and Technologies for DRR and DRM"

The 2017 RISK Award “Call for applications” was launched during the closing ceremony of the 6th IDRC Davos in Davos, Switzerland.

The 2017 RISK Award "Information and Communication:  Innovative Concepts and Technologies for DRR and DRM", endowed with €100,000, will be given to an innovative project which proves that the intelligent use of modern communication technologies tailored to the needs, culture, and skills of the people affected is a timely tool to combat the serious consequences of a disaster. The application phase starts now.

Disaster prevention is key! This is underpinned by the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Innovative concepts and technologies for information and communication (ICT) are playing an increasingly important role in disaster risk management (DRM) and disaster risk reduction (DRR). The more efficiently these tools are used, the more people at risk can be reached in time before, during or after an emergency. New scalable options for preparing communities to better cope with disasters or better deal with the consequences thereof can be facilitated.

More than 85% of the world's population have a mobile phone or a smartphone. This opens up completely new ways of transmitting information. People can be reached individually, all the time and everywhere – as long as the mobile network plays along, of course. Classic media like radio and radio communication are also increasing in popularity thanks to new technologies. In Germany, for example, the number of Web radio listeners rose from around 6 million in 2007 to 28 million in 2014. This means that, by combining an "old" technology with new concepts, here too very many people are being reached – including many young people. A similar trend is also being observed in other parts of the world – particularly dynamically in developing countries. Both figures demonstrate that the basic possibilities for reaching people in difficult situations are technically available and constantly improving.

The challenge now is to capitalise on this and offer tailor-made solutions. Such solutions are also being sought in the area of disaster reduction. The aim is to use new technologies or develop innovative concepts for established media. More people can then be prepared for risks and saved in an emergency. ITC can be used to mobilise and coordinate people and to observe and influence behaviour during disasters. Thus, it can play a crucial role to monitor the status of a disaster and to better organise reconstruction and relief. It is important to overcome obstacles to the use of new technologies.

The RISK Award will be assigned to an operational project in the field of the specific biennial topic. The award winner will receive funding up to € 100,000. The prize has to be used for the implementation of the proposed project. With each awardee an individual funding agreement will be concluded that fits to the specific project situation and needs.

It is expected that the successful project will be carried out by a team of people who have complementary skills. It is perfectly legitimate to involve participants from partner institutions, but it is not advisable to form large consortia for the purpose of submitting a proposal. Research institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs) are especially encouraged to submit.

Deadline for submissions: 30 October 2016

More information can be found on the Risk Award website: http://risk-award.org/risk-award/Application.html