The Project

The RDL project grew out of in-depth community consultation on improving access to risk information. Its overarching purpose is to support disaster resilience work by making risk data easier and more effective to work with.

The Objective

Improving disaster resilience through better risk information

The overarching goal of the RDL project is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the world’s risk information by making the underlying data easier to work with. The immediate focus is the data needs of risk assessment, with the knowledge that the solutions we develop here will be valuable to many members of the DRM community.

Project background

Reports documenting development under the DfID Challenge Fund

The Risk Data Library concept emerged from in-depth research into the risk information needs and priorities of the DRM sector. In 2014, GFDRR and DfID launched an 18-month consultation with donors, data producers and users from over a hundred organisations across the DRM community. Several priority needs were identified and seed funding made available to projects that would start to address them.

The Risk Data Library began as one of these projects and addresses four of the eight priorities identified in the research:

  • Plausible hazard scenarios for developing countries

  • Open and freely available vulnerability functions

  • Exposure datasets suitable for detailed risk assessment.

  • An established standard for model interoperability

Download the complete Solving the Puzzle report here

Partner and supporting organisations

Several organisations and teams have given their time, expertise or funding to the RDL project to date

UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office funded the initial research into the information needs and priorities of the DRM community which created the foundation for the RDL project. FCDO also worked with GFDRR to establish the challenge fund which provided the original funding for the project.

UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website Challenge Fund website


The Labs team at GFDRR conducted the original community research for DfID and managed the challenge fund on their behalf. The Labs team has also overseen the research and development of the RDL project to date.

GFDRR Labs website

The Global Earthquake Model Foundation

GEM led the development of the exposure component of the RDL schema. GEM has continued to contribute to the project by developing the modeled loss component and creating the unified schema and database.

GEM website

University College London (UCL) EPICentre

UCL EPICentre developed the vulnerability component and has continued to refine this in collaboration with GEM.

UCL EPICentre website

The British Geological Survey

BGS led the development of the hazard data component of the RDL schema.

BGS website

Collaborating Partners

Collaborating partners in the first phase of schema development also included HOTOSM, ImageCat, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, NERC National Oceanographic Centre, CIMA Foundation, Earth Observatory Singapore, Global Volcano Model, and the Global Flood Partnership.