Improved Understanding and Governance of Systemic Risk: Unpacking the 2022 Global Assessment Report

Globally disaster risk is on the rise. As challenges combine, the risk of system collapse increases. We are currently off track to reach our global goals and targets to reduce disaster risk and build resilience, foster sustainable development, and mitigate and adapt to climate change. This trend has been exacerbated by increasing poverty levels and inequalities driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
However, the pandemic experience has improved our understanding of systemic risk drivers and root causes. These include both biophysical (e.g. human and environmental health) and socio-economic aspects (e.g. systemic inequalities and poverty). The Global Assessment Report (GAR) 2022 identifies risk management and risk communication approaches required to transform current risk governance practices. By managing risk across disciplines, understanding the systemic characteristics of its root causes and drivers, and by creating synergies among global agendas we can use disaster risk reduction as a tool to accelerate the 2030 Agenda. 
This Thematic session will feature one of the lead authors of GAR 2022, as well as top thinkers in the risk governance domain. We will discuss findings of the report and suggest follow-up actions for transforming findings into action.


Session objectives 

  • Introduce GAR 2022 key findings and recommendations on novel risk governance approaches and necessary transitions   
  • Foster a common understanding of the systemic nature of risk and how it can be managed  
  • Suggest follow-up actions to put GAR 2022 findings into practice for academicians, practitioners, and governments 


  • Mandisa Kalako-Williams - Independent Consultant


  • Aromar Revi – Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
  • Conor Seyle - Senior Strategic Advisor, One Earth Future Foundation, Inc.
  • Irasema Alcantara Ayala –Professor, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
  • Ibrahima Cheikh Diong - Director-General, African Risk Capacity
  • Claudia  Herrera Melgar - Executive Secretary, The Coordination Center for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America (CEPREDENAC)

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Learn more

Read this section to learn more about systemic risk and the findings of the Global Assessment Report. 

Where do we stand? 


Key challenges:

Systemic risk, like all risk, is the result of the interrelationship of hazard, exposure and vulnerability with resilience. These variables are socially constructed through a range of underlying drivers, including poverty and inequality, badly planned and managed urban and infrastructure development, environmental degradation, climate change, conflict, displacement and weak governance. Additionally, risk-related decisions are influenced by human nature where risk perception and biases can override scientific facts. Prevailing political economy may also set barriers to address and prioritise some of the drivers that shape risk. 

Key opportunities: 

By managing risk across disciplines, understanding the systemic characteristics of its root causes and drivers, and by creating synergies among global agendas DRR can be used as a tool to accelerate the 2030 Agenda. This way we can counter current setbacks in reaching the Sendai Framework Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Behavioural science offers an opportunity to improve risk management outcomes and long-term change. We need to consider how human minds perceive risk and make decisions in order to adapt and reconfigure regulatory and incentive systems as well as market risk reduction products and services.

Risk management and communication can be steered towards co-design and data driven consultative decision making that gives agency to end users. Knowledge beyond conventional risk data is needed for better understanding of the systemic impacts of risk. Outputs of scientific risk models can be complemented with traditional knowledge. 

Systemic risk modelling is advancing rapidly and is a game changer for risk management. To be successful we need to collaborate beyond traditional sectors and disciplines. Risk governance systems must address the challenges of economy, environment, and equity as a whole while also tackling structural inequalities, vulnerability and exposure. 

Session guiding questions 

  • What do we need to know and understand about systemic risk to enable us to manage it at global, regional and national but also local level? 
  • How has the risk management context changed since 2015, and how should this guide how we accelerate or (re-)engineer modalities for risk management and risk governance, in the remaining period of the Sendai Framework, until 2030? 
  • What are key obstacles towards public sector and private sector and societal resilience across different sectors and SDGs, while facing climate extremes? (Data, knowledge, perception, governance, or compliance?) 
  • What is needed to foster and empower policy makers action, especially in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic?
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25 May 2022
13:00 - 14:30 (Bali UTC+8)


Pecatu Hall
BNDCC 2-Ground Floor

Online access

Remote participation available to those registered for the conference
Live stream available to all




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Rhea Katsanakis, Carlos Uribe,

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