Reinhard Mechler and Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler will give a keynote on Understanding and managing fiscal disaster risk for informing policy-progress and challenges over the recent years at the DRSD2021 Symposium.

DRSD 2021 ©

The 2nd International Symposium on Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development organized by the Asian Institute of Technology brings together discussion on various dimensions of higher education systems in the Asia-Pacific region with a focus on Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development. The International Symposium will focus on various dimensions of existing and future risk scenarios and concerted efforts of the scientific communities to find new adaptation methods.


Reinhard Mechler and Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler from the Systemic Risk and Resilience Group will give a keynote at the Session on Technological and Social Innovation Pathways for Safer and Inclusive Societies.

June 25th, 12:00 - 13:00 ICT (07:00 - 08:00 CEST)


Keynote topic: Understanding and managing fiscal disaster risk for informing policy-progress and challenges over the recent years.

Topic Overview:

Disaster risk has seen increasing recognition by research, policy and practice over the last decades. Substantial investments into disaster risk analysis and management (DRM) have been made and, according to some accounts, the balance has been shifted substantially from wait-and see (ex-post relief and reconstruction funding) to proaction (ex-ante investments into DRM), while more will be needed to tackle the rising and increasingly existential risks linked to climate change. 

Socio-economic decision-support tools have helped to understand the benefits of DRM and shown substantial dividends. Governments at different scales are important actors in DRM. In addition to providing DRM, regulating private sector activity, promoters and coordinators of collective action on DRM, they are risk-takers, as a large part of disaster risk ends up with the fiscal position. Over the last few years there has been increasing recognition and understanding of the need to deliberately consider risk management in public and fiscal risk planning.  

The presentation traces progress in analysis on and debate of fiscal disaster risk management by focusing strongly on analytics and current practice. We overall identify four steps, which may be pursued deliberately, as well as three dividends to be harnessed 

  1. Understanding fiscal risk- identifying and assessing the relevance of disaster risk for public finance;
  2. Protecting public finance through risk financing instruments – identifying and examining insurance-related instruments that support protection of the fiscal position - the 1st dividend;
  3. Comprehensively managing disaster risk including risk reduction and risk preparedness as they affect development – the 2nd dividend;
  4. Pursuing a synergistic, co-benefits strategy of concurrently managing disaster risks and promoting development – the 3rd dividend.

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