ENHANCE - Improving the resilience of society to catastrophic natural hazards through new risk-management partnerships

Improving the resilience of society to catastrophic natural hazards through new risk-management partnerships



The main goal of the ENHANCE project is to develop and analyse new ways to enhance society’s resilience to catastrophic natural hazard impacts, by providing new scenarios and information in selected hazard cases in close collaboration with stakeholders, and by contributing to the development of new multi-sector partnerships (MSPs) to reduce or redistribute risk. Innovation in MSPs is essential, as (ineffective) cooperation between public, private and civil society institutions often leads to failures in risk management.

ENHANCE is unique as it studies the potential for new MSPs for managing different catastrophic hazards, related to heat waves, forest fires, flood, drought, storm surge, and volcanic eruptions. Key to successful partnerships is a common understanding of risks and the implications of proposed risk reduction instruments. ENHANCE facilitates a participatory process to develop MSPs in cases studies at different geographical and spatial scales in Europe. The main products of ENHANCE are a) a harmonised dynamic scenarios of vulnerability, exposure, and hazard at the pan-European scale, using existing information and new probabilistic approaches for multi-hazards, heat-waves, forest fires, floods, droughts, storm surges, and volcanic eruptions; b) guidelines and key features for enhancing MSP interaction in successful resilience enhancement and risk reduction, pre-tested via participatory workshops on risk-based scenarios; c) methods for linking MSPs to novel scientific risk scenarios and assessments; d) a toolbox of economic instruments and non-structural mitigation measures at the national, regional, and local levels developed in a participatory manner and aimed at assessing risk and increasing societal resilience; and e) policy recommendations to the EU and HFA signatories delivered through a dissemination platform for enhancing resilience from high political levels to local communities.

ENHANCE offers a team that consists of scientific research institutes, public policy organisations including UNISDR, private sector specialists and an NGO that ensure societal relevance and the feasibility of implementation of our deliverables. Within 10 case studies public and private partners will be approached to develop MSPs and to test our methods. Finally, the project will ensure that its products will impact target groups through a dissemination strategy, developed in close collaboration with members of an external advisory board.

IIASA focus

IIASA is a main partner within the ENHANCE project, leading various work packages including the development of probabilistic risk frameworks leading to single and multi-hazard scenarios, the review of economic instruments for risk reduction and risk financing, leading to a synthesis of economic instruments across case studies, as well as studying specific linkages of current EU and country level financing instruments such as the European Solidarity Fund and its risk due to interdependent catastrophe events.

Enhance Final Publication

This book is the final result of the Enhance project. With an emphasis on developing novel ways to enhance society's resilience to the impacts of catastrophic natural hazards, the project was aimed at analyzing and developing new multi-sector partnerships (MSPs) between public and private sectors, with a particular focus on the financial sector.

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Last edited: 07 December 2016


Reinhard Mechler

Acting Program Director

Risk and Resilience

T +43(0) 2236 807 313


Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler

Senior Research Scholar

Risk and Resilience

T +43(0) 2236 807 517


01.12.12 - 30.11.16

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313