6th Disaster Risk Management Seminar "Challenges in Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management into Development: Infrastructure and DRM"
October 5, 2015Tokyo

Disaster Risk Management Seminar Series co-organized by the World Bank Tokyo Office and World Bank Disaster Risk Management Hub, Tokyo

World Bank Infrastructure Projects in Asia Take on Mainstreaming Resilience with Japanese Expertise and Support

The challenges to mainstreaming disaster and climate resilience in the World Bank’s infrastructure investments in Asia range from technical to institutional, but the pay-offs are clear and Japanese expertise can play a key role in ensuring that quality infrastructure is built as a result.

This was the consensus when experts from the World Bank’s Disaster Risk Management, Urban, and Energy teams and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) came together for the 6th Public Seminar, hosted by the World Bank Tokyo Office and the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Hub, Tokyo.

The seminar was organized to hear from the Bank experts about various efforts to integrate DRM in infrastructure projects to strength resilience supported by the DRM Hub, and challenges they face on the ground.

The World Bank put $5.6 billion in new development financing for resilience in fiscal year 2015 – a number that has been rising at a rate of 15% annually. The Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming DRM in Developing Countries helps connect this investment with the technical assistance and capacity needed.

The Bank experts explained how this works in practice, from increasing the climate resilience of infrastructure in Sri Lanka to integrating disaster and climate risk considerations in road maintenance processes in Bhutan, from strengthening disaster recovery and risk reduction capacity in Pacific island power utilities to using a rapid and effective post-disaster assessment to scale up resilience in roads, housing, and disaster management in Uttarakhand, India.


Business Case vs. The Challenges

Highlighting the transformational potential of the Government of Japan’s Partnership for Quality Infrastructure initiative, Yasusuke Tsukagoshi, Special Representative, Japan, welcomed the seminar to the World Bank Office, underlined the World Bank’s efforts in increasing resilience in infrastructure in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and for contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

In opening remarks, Francis Ghesquiere, Head of GFDRR, noted that investments in resilience can reduce the losses that disasters cause and unlock growth by stimulating new innovation and investment, but that development professionals must recognize that investment funds are limited, “old habits die hard”, including existing planning and construction practices, and adaptive approaches that respond to local contexts are critical.


Innovative Solutions

The seminar took a close look at many of the challenges to ensuring the quality and resilience of the infrastructure investments that developing countries make.

Marc Forni, Senior DRM Specialist, demonstrated how spatial analytics, low-cost open data collection technologies, and a whole host of targeted products and approaches can drive transformative large-scale infrastructure investments, such as those being prepared in Can Tho, Vietnam. Roberto Aiello, Senior Energy Specialist, showed how integrating considerations of natural hazards can strengthen energy planning, efficiency, and sustainability in the Pacific.

Fostering new road and slope stabilization approaches, including many originating in Japan, the World Bank’s support to Uttarakhand after the devastating 2013 floods have allowed major advances in the state’s connectivity, as Yuka Makino, Senior Operations Officer, noted.

In conclusion, Abhas Jha, the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Practice Manager for Urban and DRM, pointed out that public officials face “cruel trade-offs” between increased quality and resilience of their investments on one hand and larger quantities of investment outputs, such as schools, water, and sanitation, on the other. This puts the onus on development professionals to help these policymakers adopt a longer timeframe for the returns of their investments and integrate resilience considerations into their regular investment processes, such as through a focus on regular lifecycle analysis, as promoted by the Partnership for Quality Infrastructure.

Joining the seminar at the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC), more than 100 participants from the private sector, government, and academia offered additional perspectives on opportunities for bringing Japanese expertise to these challenges, as well as their observations and questions for the panel.


For many years, Japan and the World Bank have been working in partnership to support Disaster Risk Management (DRM) efforts by disaster-prone developing countries. In April 2013, the Government of Japan announced Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming DRM in Developing Countries. Subsequently, World Bank DRM Hub, Tokyo was established within the World Bank Tokyo Office.

With global losses from disasters averaging nearly $200 billion per year, countries need quick and scalable solutions. The “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” adopted in March 2015 provides a framework for action that focuses on disaster risk management. Over the last five years, the World Bank Group’s disaster-related commitments have grown year on year, reaching $5.6 billion in FY15.

Taking the opportunity of the visit of Francis Ghesquiere, Manager of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), this public seminar will showcase projects that have demonstrated how DRM can be mainstreamed into various sectors in developing countries and discuss challenges and the lessons learnt. This seminar will investigate mainstreaming challenges in South Asia and the Pacific, with a focus on transport and energy, and the activities supported by the Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming DRM in Developing Countries that aim to integrate disaster resilience in these sectors.

We hope this seminar will provide a forum of discussing how mainstreaming can be advanced.



Yasusuke Tsukagoshi
Special Representative, Japan, World Bank Group


Francis Ghesquiere
Manager, Disaster Risk Management Practice Group and Head of GFDRR Secretariat, World Bank Group
“Challenges of Mainstreaming DRM in Infrastructure”


Marc Forni
Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, GSURR, World Bank Group
“Addressing Disaster Risk in Infrastructure in the Water Sector in South Asia” (PDF)

Roberto G. Aiello
Senior Energy Specialist, GEEDR, World Bank Group
“Strengthening Disaster Recovery and Risk Reduction Capacity in Pacific Island Power Utilities” (PDF)

Yuka Makino
Senior Operations Officer, Disaster Risk Management Hub, Tokyo, GFDRR, World Bank Group
Saurabh Dani
Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, GSURR, World Bank Group
"Mainstreaming DRM in the Roads Sector in Uttarakhand, India" (PDF)


Abhas K. Jha
Practice Manager, GSURR, World Bank Group
Yuka Makino
Senior Operations Officer, Disaster Risk Management Hub, Tokyo, GFDRR, World Bank Group


Jack Campbell
Disaster Risk Management Specialist, Disaster Risk Management Hub, Tokyo, GFDRR, World Bank Group

❖ Please click each "presentation title" to see the presentation material in PDF.

❖ This seminar will be recorded for later viewing.

❖ This seminar will be web-streamed at

  • DATE/TIME: Monday, October 5, 2015 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM (JST)

The World Bank Tokyo Office
10th Floor, Fukoku Seimei Building, 2-2-2 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

English and Japanese
(with simultaneous interpretation)

World Bank Disaster Risk Management Hub, Tokyo
TEL: 03-3597-1320

Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries