Understanding risk to create resilient platforms for sustainable growth and human dignity.

The IDF Risk Modelling and Mapping Group (RMMG)

The RMMG is an expert working group of the IDF, comprising members from the insurance, development, and scientific research sectors dedicated to improving global understanding and quantification of disaster risk to support and enable decisions on its mitigation, adaption and transfer. Led by a steering committee chaired by Ian Branagan (Renaissance Re) and Alanna Simpson (The World Bank Group), the group focusses on four priority actions, achieved through five workstreams.

Priority Actions and Opportunities

  1. Comprehensive cataloguing of risk information and guidance, including available risk data (including hazard, exposure, and vulnerability data) and models with a focus on low and middle-income countries to promote use of existing solutions and target new model development for under-resourced areas.
  2. Coordinating risk modelling support to IDF development of insurance schemes
  3. Planning and supporting the strategic programme to provide comprehensive coverage and inclusive access to risk models across unmodelled countries.
  4. Providing a central coordination point for industry liaison and support for a range of public science investments and programs for international risk modelling.


Work streams

  1. Understand the problem space

    A searchable online directory of user questions on disaster risk data and modelling, each with a corresponding response to provide free and open-access expert guidance on catastrophe risk modelling for financial protection. It aims to answer the key questions posed by users of risk information and risk assessment tools for financial applications, within a framework structured according to the catastrophe risk modelling process. It addresses sector and peril specific questions, as well as broader topics of importance when assessing risk or interpreting risk information.

    Members of the global risk community and users of risk information are encouraged to submit user questions to this site using the upload form. Please contact stuart@disaster-risk.uk for further information or to contribute to this directory.

  2. Catalogue available risk models

    The RMMG developed and maintains Catrisktools, a free and open access global directory of catastrophe risk assessment tools. It provides a comprehensive listing of available commercial and non-commercial catastrophe risk models, with information on key attributes to help potential users assess models’ applicability in their use case. Launched in June 2017, the directory can be searched by country, peril, licence type, and developer, and also provides tool capability and contact information. The directory is hosted in partnership with OasisHub.

    Members of the global risk modelling community are encouraged to upload information about their tools to this directory using the upload form on the site. Contact stuart@disaster-risk.uk for further information or to discuss listing tools in this directory. The benefits of hosting information include: 1) Greater visibility of listed software, with users directed to providers’ websites to access tools; and 2) Together we create an improved overview of available risk tools – helping resource allocation in the sector and improving user access to existing and new risk information.

  3. Development of a globally applicable multi-hazard exposure database

    RMMG members lead and advise on the development of a new multi-hazard database schema for global exposure data, being developed under the GFDRR-DFID Challenge Fund. This schema will operate with accompanying hazard and vulnerability components, being developed concurrently under the same project. The open-access database will be compatible with data of varying fidelity and scale, initially for scenarios events. Development of an API to link the database with existing modelling tools is under discussion.

  4. Data standards, & model validation, interoperability

    The RMMG is facilitating and supporting discussion on development of model and data standards, model validation, and on improving model and data interoperability, with the aim of:

    1. Developing common standards for risk data, in conjunction with data schema development under the GFDRR-DFID Challenge Fund
    2. Progressing discussions on improving interoperability between catastrophe risk models
    3. Coordinating discussion on standards for hazard data import, financial module and Application Programming Interfaces

  5. Collaborative, end-to-end development of open risk models

    The RMMG promotes the use of existing models where feasible to reduce redundant work in development of insurance schemes with the IDF Technical Advisory Committee (TAF). Where new or improved models are required, the RMMG is planning collaborative catastrophe model development to support insurance placement starting with pilot countries in 2017/2018. These projects are variously aligned with and funded through the UK Department for International Development (DfID), the German KfW Development Bank (KfW Entwicklungsbank), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung). The RMMG will continue to explore all aligned organisations and sources of funding. Key in the development of new models is the involvement of the respective country, ensuring availability of the model for a wide range of users, and for the models to be sustainable over time.