MIT Center for Collective Intelligence invites projects focusing on Absorbing climate impacts

Organisation: Climate CoLab

Apply By:  11/02/2018


Question: How can climate risk insurance be linked with other forms of social protection to help vulnerable communities absorb climate impacts?


About UN Climate Resilience Initiative A2R

The UN Climate Resilience Initiative A2R: Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape is a global multi-stakeholder initiative launched by the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during COP21 in Paris. The Initiative strengthens climate resilience for most vulnerable countries and people and brings together governments, international agencies, regional initiatives, the private sector, civil society and academia. The Initiative accelerates action on three key capacities of climate resilience:

Anticipate: Capacity to anticipate and act on climate hazards and stresses through early warning and early action

Absorb: Capacity to absorb climate shocks and stresses by increasing access to climate risk insurance and social protection systems

Reshape: Capacity to reshape development pathways by transforming economies to reduce risks and root causes of vulnerabilities and support the sound management of physical infrastructure and ecosystems

About InsuResilience Global Partnership

The InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions brings to­gether countries, civil society, international organizations, the private sector, and academia. The vision of the InsuResilience Global Partnership is to strengthen the resilience of developing countries and protect the lives and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable people against the impacts of disasters through sup­porting the disaster risk financing strategy and archi­tecture of vulnerable countries, depending on country circumstances.

Judging Criteria

We are calling for proposals that outline an innovative, practical solution combining climate risk insurance with other forms of social protection to help vulnerable communities absorb climate impacts.  Proposals could take the form of new schemes, products or methodologies or build on existing approaches.

This contest seeks proposals that:

  • Are linked to a specific context;
  • Highlight how the proposed innovation will enhance the target group’s’ capacity to absorb and cope with climate impacts;
  • Address how long term feasibility and local ownership could be secured in the proposed approach.
  • Include a detailed budget with a timeframe for implementation (detailed budgets will be requested at semi-finalist stage).

Proposals can be at any stage of development:

  • Well thought-out ideas that require additional research, design or planning;
  • Comprehensive strategies or schemes that are ready for prototyping or implementation;
  • Initiatives and projects that have already achieved success and are ready to be scaled;
  • Best practices that need refinement or support in order to scale;
  • Methodologies for designing  or improving the design of strategies and schemes.

Judges will be asked to evaluate proposals on the following criteria:

  • Feasibility: Feasibility of the actions proposed in the proposal. Judges with different kinds of expertise will evaluate the technical, economic, social, and political feasibility of the proposals.
  • Impact: Impact and ability of the actions proposed to contribute to vulnerable communities’ ability to  absorb and cope with climate shocks and stresses. This includes the impact of the proposal in reaching a number of vulnerable people on the ground and the magnitude of the proposal’s impact on communities’ and individuals’ capacity to absorb.
  • Novelty: Novelty of the proposal’s ideas. Innovative thinking and originality in a proposal will be valued more than encyclopedic knowledge.
  • Presentation Quality: Proposals that are well-presented will be favored over those that aren’t. Presentation quality includes how well written a proposal is, how well it uses graphics or other visual elements, and how compelling are its artistic representations of possible future worlds (if any). Semi-finalists will also evaluated on the quality of the proposed detailed budget for the use of seed funding for implementation.


  • The Judges’ Choice Winner will be selected by the judging panel.  The UN Climate Resilience Initiative A2R and InsuResilience will provide the Judges’ Choice Winner with seed funding for implementation of the proposal (worth 40,000 euros) and mentoring, training and technical assistance (worth 12,000 euros) as outlined below.
  • Seed funding for implementation of the winning proposal (worth 40,000 euros)
  • The Judges’ Choice Winner will receive seed funding to support the implementation of the winning proposal. The funding will be spent according to a budget submitted by the team, to be agreed on with the contest organisers. Budgets detailing how the seed funding would be spent will be requested from semi-finalists to the contest. The terms and conditions associated with the seed funding will be set out in an agreement with the winning team.
  • Mentoring, training and technical assistance (worth 12,000 euros)
  • Mentoring, training and technical assistance will be provided to the  Judges’ Choice Winner. Suitable mentors will be identified to support the implementation of the winning proposal, with online and face-to-face mentoring provided on a monthly basis for the duration of three months. In addition, a training and technical assistance plan will be developed with the winning team, with the support of the mentors identified. The form of support will be determined depending on the team’s needs but could include a relevant training course or a field study on a relevant topic.  The details will be set out in an agreement with the winning team.
  • The Judges’ Choice Winner will also receive wide recognition and visibility by MIT Climate CoLab.
  • The Popular Vote Winner will be chosen by popular vote, at the semi-finalist stage of the contest. The Popular Vote Winner will win an expenses-paid trip (including flight, accommodation, and meals to attend the InsuResilience Global Partnership Forum in 2018 during COP24, where the winner will be given the opportunity to present the proposal to a community of practitioners, policymakers and private sector representatives.

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