Open data tools: the Challenge Fund

The Challenge Fund connects the technological knowledge of the scientific community with the contextual knowledge of at-risk communities

Developing countries are often the hardest hit by floods, cyclones, droughts and earthquakes, yet are also the least equipped to understand or address these risks. There are a number of exciting innovations that could help, from crowd-sourced mapping projects that that reveal hazards with unprecedented precision to self-learning modelling algorithms that can predict a disaster before it strikes. The real challenge, however, is bringing together the technological knowledge of the scientific community with the contextual knowledge of at-risk communities on the ground.

This is why the Challenge Fund was created. An initiative of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the Challenge Fund aims to connect innovation to local contexts to help better identify changing climate and disaster risk and enable more effective decision-making to build resilience. Through targeted investments in innovation, the Challenge Fund is better enabling communities to build resilience to climate change and natural disasters in more than 20 countries around the globe by moving from data to insight to behaviour change.

Through more than $1 million in financing for innovation, the Challenge Fund has already helped fund more than 15 projects, tackling issues like gender, language barriers, open data access and gaps in risk communication. From collecting data through Twitter for flood analysis in the Philippines to visualising risk data for civil society groups in Africa, Challenge Fund winners are harnessing the power of technology for climate and disaster resilience.

The Challenge Fund has three rounds.