Enhancing resilience benefits through Integrated Approaches: Learnings from the InsuResilience Sectoral Communities and next steps

Across the world countries, communities, businesses, and individuals face complex direct and indirect risks. These risks are often interconnected, and actors’ risk profiles change in line with climate and socio-economic changes. When risks materialize, they hamper the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly for those most vulnerable and can revert “development gains”. Narrowing the existing resilience gap1 requires increased capacity and investment in disaster resilience and adaptation to climate change. Greater resilience can generate a wide range of benefits if embedded in holistic, integrated and forward-looking strategies. Systems thinking that combines different tools and instruments from across the risk management spectrum instead of siloed approaches is therefore essential. The insurance industry can play a central role in such an integrated approach to Climate and Disaster Risk Management (CDRM) and climate adaptation, as the full potential of risk financing instruments can only be harnessed when used in a package and not as stand-alone approaches.  

The InsuResilience Global Partnership (IGP) has recognized the importance of integrated approaches, as documented in the InsuResilience Vision 2025. The InsuResilience Working Group on Integrated Approaches specifically calls for increased action and ambition in this space. A key component for achieving an integrated, system-wide approach is collaboration across sectors and stakeholders and the formation of partnerships: insurers can engage with their customers but also governments, regulators, civil society, and development actors in generating resilience benefits beyond risk transfer. Local implementation partners are often essential and can help understanding regulatory requirements and practical implementation challenges.  

To this end, four Sectoral Communities (SCs) were established in 2021 to provide a targeted forum for IGP members and further experts to exchange knowledge and enable ideation and partnership building. The focus of the SCs is on enhancing innovation on integrated approaches and broadening the buy-in from industry, donors and civil society and demonstrating ways to realise the opportunities of integrated approaches, especially for the InsuResilience programmes and partners. This also concerns advice on how to improve and evaluate such integration including at the design, funding and implementation stages of CDRFI solutions. In particular, the SCs aim at achieving the InsuResilience Vision 2025 by de-mystifying the integration of Climate and Disaster Risk Management (CDRM) and Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance (CDRFI) and helping the InsuResilience community to overcome existing barriers and achieve positive change. 

The four Sectoral Communities have been developed along four focus topics, based on demands and interest expressed in the Integrated Approaches Working Group: 

  • Anticipatory Action: achieve innovation by aligning anticipatory action and CDRFI and pave the way for further scale-up.  
  • Nature-based Solutions (NbS): learn from existing pilots about how to de-risk NbS through CDRFI and how to harness the value of natural capital for risk finance solutions and CDRM by supporting the assessment of NbS’ resilience impacts.  
  • Resilient Agriculture: inform design and test innovative integrated solutions in the agricultural sector and support the development of funding criteria for such projects. 
  • Resilient Infrastructure: strengthen the use of CDRFI in the life cycle of infrastructure development, investment and operation. 

Since their inception in early 2021 the Sectoral Communities have been very active, with growing participation from across the InsuResilience Global Partnership and further key stakeholders – offering a trusted platform for collaboration and engagement across sectors. All four SCs have completed phase 1 with a wide range of knowledge sharing, stock-take and learning sessions including dedicated workshops and breakout sessions at the InsuResilience Annual Forum. Examples are:  

  • Workshop on Anticipatory Action (AA) and Risk Transfer in September 2021, with more than 40 participants, and three case studies presented and discussed, including from ARC, Start Network, WFP, and IFRC. The findings are now used for a Compendium on AA and Risk Transfer, produced in 2022 by the SC in close collaboration with the Co-Chairs (Anticipation Hub and REAP Secretariat). Breakout Sessions at the InsuResilience Annual Forum and Global Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Action, with focus on Philippines as country case and the role of the private sector.  
  • A survey of IGP members on “Your involvement with NbS” was conducted and results were used in a written submission to the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance inquiry on Nature-based Solutions, facilitated by the SC. Also, the survey informed the design of a new European Commissions’ Horizon Europe programme on NbS and insurance (Naturance), due to start in autumn 2022. The survey results also led to a workshop on methods for and experiences with quantifying benefits of Nature-based solutions, planned for March 2022. This will bring together experts from across IGP and those working in the NbS space. The SC will also enable SC members to highlight their challenges, solutions and experiences in the area of NbS and risk financing in short video tutorials. These will be made available on the IGP website.  
  • The SC on Integrated Resilience Approaches in Agriculture conducted a series of meetings with presentations from across the wider agriculture and resilience space, including on measuring and monitoring resilience impact (LSE), design of bundles of multiple DRR tools (UC Davies), use of the triple resilience dividend in agriculture projects (ODI), and a proposed Locust Outbreak Bond (Allfed). The SC is now closely collaborating with the InsuResilience Solutions Fund (ISF) and actively supporting their new funding rounds: a workshop in March 2022 is specifically designed to identify best practices and advice ISF on recognizing integrated approaches in its agricultural funding selection criteria.  
  • The SC on infrastructure and risk transfer developed a decision-chain diagram to identify opportunities for CDRFI and resilience activities across the infrastructure life cycle. This is now used as basis for stock-taking of existing initiatives and for identifying future opportunities. The SC also heard presentations from UNDP on its Insurance and Risk Finance Facility, from the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) on their work, from ADB on infrastructure and risk transfer, from WTW on Insurance Sector Financial Innovation, from ISF on Climate Risk Analysis for Urban Infrastructure in Vietnam, and from the Pacific Risk Pool PCRIC on its activities related to resilient infrastructure. As part of a collaboration with two key stakeholders – CDRI and the Coalition for Climate-Resilient Investment – three events were organised as part of the CDRI dialogue series, including a COP26 Side Event: “Post-pandemic recovery – Can there be an Infrastructure Resilience Dividend?” 

A pipeline of outputs for phase 2 and 3 have been compiled, which are now being prioritized for 2022 in each of the four SCs: 

  • Increase available funding opportunities for integrated solutions: The SCs have started developing guidance for donors and will seek further exchanges with donors to inform future funding rounds. 
  • Technical advice and support for innovation – The SCs are responding to demand for technical input; different forms of knowledge and expertise sharing are being developed in the SCs.  
  • Mainstreaming integrated approaches into the wider InsuResilience programmes: The Secretariat envisages to facilitate a discussion between the SCs and the Program Alliance on a set of recommendations for implementation of integrated approaches.  


All four SCs are open to new members, please contact lea.kulick@insuresilience.org for more information.  



1 A resilience gap is when a system, society or community, when exposed to hazard, lacks the ability “to resist, absorb adapt to, transform and recover from effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions through risk management” (UNGA, 2016: 22)