The United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction

Nominations are now open for the 2015 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, under the theme “Shaping the Future.” Nominate now.

Theme: Shaping the Future

The purpose of the theme "Shaping the Future" is to bring out cases of individuals or organizations that have shown convincing examples of leadership to guide our actions in ways that will make us more safe, healthy, wealthy and resilient now and in the years to come. Examples:

Local governments that experiment with social media and big data to map risks and engage their community in building resilience.
Insurance companies that support start-ups of micro-insurance initiatives offering small-scale but accessible solutions.
Academic and research institutions that seek to understand the latest risk trends and make related data visible and tangible through mobile phone applications and other methods.
Parliamentarians that have fought for, and many more that still work on, new legislation and regulations to reduce disaster risk and build resilience.
Civil society organizations that continue to work with communities and governments to make disaster risk reduction programming inclusive to vulnerable groups such as the elderly and persons living with disabilities.

The 2015 prize will be awarded on 17 March 2015 at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan

What will the 2015 award recognize?

For the 2015 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, we are seeking nominations for individuals or organizations that are visionary and able to anticipate future needs. Ideal nominees collaborate with others to manage disaster risk whether at the national, local or community level. They are practical and strive to make the best use of assets – such as funds, human resources, intellectual property, institutions and systems – that are currently at their community’s disposal.


Jury members will focus on evidence of concrete performance and material advances. When evaluating the received nominations, the jury will be on the lookout for distinguishing characteristics that include:

  • Being agents of change 
    - What changes have become possible with the help of the nominee? 
    - What capacities were activated despite the confines of present institutions and have become effective beyond institutional boundaries?
  • Acting ahead 
    - Are the nominee’s actions ahead of current climate change and sustainable development policies, and if so did the nominee help start and sustain it? 
    - Has the nominee contributed to plans that shows foresight (such as work that curbs and adapts to climate change, including reduction of carbon emissions, engaging in new agricultural practices or growing new crops, engaging in risk mitigation in settlements and dwellings)? 
    - Are the nominee’s actions permanently dedicated to build up a comprehensive, sustainable method for managing disaster risk? 
    - Does the nominee focus efforts on the reduction of growing economic losses caused by disasters?
  • Tackling uncertainty 
    - As context changes fast, how does the nominee manage, plan and cater for uncertainty? 
    - Do the nominee’s actions constitute good practice in decision-making and programme management, using processes that diagnose limits of knowledge in the system? 
    - Are the nominee’s actions adaptable?
  • Management of resources 
    - Is the nominee able to harness financial resources in a sustainable way for managing disaster risk? 
    - Regular monetary flow is instrumental – does the nominee use tools for managing such flows, including information, incentives and opportunities directed at all actors?
  • Inclusiveness 
    - Is the nominee able to stimulate cross-sectoral and cross-disciplinary solutions through pluralistic participatory processes? 
    - Do the nominee’s actions trigger involvement of non-traditional actors from outside the disaster risk reduction community?
  • Listening to new voices 
    - Risk prevention requires authentic powers of control over investment choices. Where, why and in which society are new voices heard and does the nominee listen to new voices?

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