Daniel Clarke speaks about "cross-overs" between climate change and disaster risk management

14 September 2016

Daniel Clarke is Senior Specialist at the Disaster Risk Finance Insurance Programme of the World Bank and offered GLE delegates some valuable insights in this critical component of the climate change paradigm.  

What role does the World Bank play in disaster risk management?

The World Bank works on the full range of disaster risk management activities;  on risk information, government support, developing preparedness plans, on investing in risk reduction and resilient recovery, and on the issue of financial protection. Disaster risk finance is a growing topic ... It’s being led by some central ministries (finance, economy), and these ministries don’t just want information about disaster, they want to understand about the financial impact, how they can be better financially prepared. So, on the disaster risk finance side, we work with governments to understand how much they could be on the hook for if a disaster were to occur and to try to help them better plan financially.  

What do you think participants can learn from you at GLE? 

Our team at the World Bank has been working on this for some ten years. Lessons on the initial approaches and assumptions we made have been really developed and refined through working with governments. To give one example; when people think about financial protection they think about insurance. This is part of it, but when we talk to governments we don’t really talk about insurance [per se], we talk about financial planning because that’s really the root of it. So, it’s not really about an instrument, it’s about a way that governments plan financially for disasters.  Some of the aspects we’ve been learning at the coal face on disaster risk finance are equally applicable to a lot of the discussions on the climate change side. Ultimately, when it comes to climate change or disaster risk management, it’s all risk management. It’s just risk management for different policy agendas, and there are such strong cross-overs.

What have you learned so far from sitting in the sessions at GLE?

I’ve learned a lot, I have to say. All of my work is on disasters that might happen over the next 12-24 months … I don’t look on a daily basis at what might happen in 30 years’ time. But it’s really interesting to be challenged by lots of people who do have that more long-term view and try to think through what that really means on how I do my work on the management of shocks that might happen tomorrow or the day after.

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