The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance is a multi-sectoral partnership focused on strengthening the resilience of communities in developing and developed nations to flood risk.
Our vision is that floods have no negative impact on people’s and business’ ability to thrive.
The Alliance consists of humanitarian, NGO, research, and private sector partners who work together to increase public and private investment in evidence-informed community-based flood resilience.
The Alliance was originally launched in 2013 with the goal of shifting focus from flood response and recovery to pre-event risk reduction. Based on the successes achieved in this first phase, the Zurich Foundation extended funding for a second five-year phase in 2018.test
Our definition of resilience
By the end of 2023 the Alliance commits to:
- Influence increasing investments going to pre-event resilience building by USD 1 billion
- Scaling up our own work on climate-smart risk-informed programming
- Support 2 million people to become more resilient to flooding. test one
Theory of change
To achieve our ambitious vision and meet the targets we have set out for the Alliance, we have developed an integrated Theory of Change
Increased funding for flood resilience
1.1 Increased ODA/DRR/CCA funding for flood resilience
1.2 Development, humanitarian, and infrastructure spending builds flood resilience
1.3 National governments increase investment in flood resilience
1.4 Innovative forms of finance created
Policies at global, national, and sub-national levels are improved
2.1 National and local governments have effective resilience policies
2.2 Flood resilience better incorporated into UNFCCC mechanisms, including NDCs and NAPs
2.3 Municipal plans and policies support flood resilience
Improve flood resilience practice
3.1 Strong risk informed flood resilience approaches incorporated into humanitarian and development programmes
3.2 Improved programme management cycle supports flood resilience
3.3 Improved practice supports flood resilience in vulnerable areas
Achieving, and measuring, change
- staff time
- internal and external expertise
- knowledge products
- community interventions
- plans, policies and finance commitments
- increases in stakeholder knowledge, capacity, and collaboration
- demonstration of flood resilience best practices changes in stakeholder behaviour
- increased spending on flood resilience
- improved flood resilience policies
- increase in community flood resilience
How we work
We work to achieve our objectives through long-term flexible community programmes, producing new research, sharing our knowledge, and influencing key stakeholders on flood resilience.
Our workstream structure supports sector specific work, while cross-workstream collaboration allows us to aggregate that work to deliver shared objectives. The workstreams and governance bodies together support a distributed operational model designed to allow all partners to take responsibility for the delivery of Alliance objectives, with no single organisation, including Zurich, being the sole ‘manager’ of the Alliance.
Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard and cause some of the largest economic, social, and humanitarian losses. More than 730 million people were affected by floods between 2008 and 2017.
Climate change combined with population growth, urbanisation, and economic development will only make flooding worse.
Why focus on communities?
National and global-level decisions contribute to flood risk and resilience. The impact of floods are felt most immediately by communities.
The community level is also where resilience actions can be taken, and communities often know best how and where to focus activity for impact.
Working with communities, we can demonstrate tangible impacts on peoples’ lives and develop good practices to shape policy at higher levels.
Increasing pre-event investment in flood resilience will reduce the losses and damages caused by floods. Every USD 1 invested in flood risk reduction has been documented to save on average USD 5 in future losses.
To be resilient a community, system, or society must be able to continue on their development and growth path while managing disaster risk over time. This means investments should reduce risk or deliver resilience in addition to development.
Why measure Resilience?
The Alliance’s approach is centered around generating evidence-informed flood resilience practice. To do this, we first measure flood resilience in the communities we work in to identify resilience gaps and strengths, and then co-generate flood resilience approaches and solutions with local stakeholders.
In the absence of internationally validated methods for measuring any disaster resilience, we have developed the Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC), a flood resilience measurement framework and tool for communities.
By measuring resilience we hope to contribute the evidence needed to increase social, political, and financial investments in floods resilience.
Where we work
The Alliance is currently working in communities in Latin America, Europe, and South and South East Asia, and is expanding into Africa. In addition to our community work, we have also carried out Post Event Review Capability studies in the Americas, Africa, South Asia, and Australia.
We facilitate learning on flood resilience gaps and good practices to:
- Ensure that practitioners can learn from our experiences and flood resilience approaches, and
- Generate evidence to influence flood resilience investments and policy.
Solutions we can offer
Flood Resilience PortalsWhether you live or work in a flood-prone community, or carry out research for the benefit of those who do, the Flood Resilience Portals provide easy access to the knowledge and practical solutions you need to build resilience. We know from experience that resilience is best built locally. That’s why we, alongside the Global Flood Resilience Portal, also provide locally-specific information, often in the local language, through interconnected regional portals. LatAM Bangladesh Nepal West Africa
Flood Resilience Measurement for CommunitiesThe Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC) framework and tool was created by the Alliance in 2013 and is an innovation in community flood resilience theory and practice. The FRMC allows users to generate evidence on how a given area or community is already resilient to floods, as well as providing a guide to further build this resilience. Find out more and access the tool
Post Event Review CapabilityThe award- winning Post-Event Review Capability (PERC) methodology was created to provide conduct independent research and independent reviews of large flood events. The PERC helps to understand why a hazard became a disaster and identify opportunities for building resilience
What we’ve learnt so far
Every year the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance shares our achievements, and the knowledge we’ve gained, in a learning report.
In the second year of Phase II of the Alliance, we have achieved and learnt: