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Drought Index-insurance for Resilience in the Sahel and Horn of Africa (DIRISHA)

Project Description

The Drought Index-insurance for Resilience in the Sahel and Horn of Africa (DIRISHA) project, supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom in close coordination with Centre for Disaster Protection (CDP) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), was conducted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) between March 2020 and May 2021. 


DIRISHA, the Swahili word for ‘window’, had the ambitious goal of advancing an evidence case to scale-up climate risk financing innovations that that seek to protect vulnerable dryland populations in the region in the IGAD region and beyond, in the face of climate shocks.


To reach this objective, DIRISHA, taking stock of over 10-years of experience and increasing coverage of index-based livestock insurance programs in the region, has conducted an operational and technical feasibility study to review the status of national-level drought/climate risk financing solutions in the region and provide a set of recommendations and options for regional implementation. In addition, DIRISHA has launched an agenda for high-frequency and multi-dimensional data collection of key environmental and socio-economic indicators to inform the technical design and quality assessment of future initiatives across the continent.


DIRISHA outputs are making significant contributions to the ongoing regional and national investments in disaster risk financing solutions and related climate resilience building initiatives and policy processes in the IGAD region. This includes the African Development Bank, Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRIFI) initiatives and its regional investment “Program to Build Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security in the Horn of Africa” (HoA), and the World Bank initiative “Horn of Africa—De-Risking, Inclusion and Value Enhancement of Pastoral Economies” (HoA DRIVE), among others.   



WP1: Assess the technical and operational feasibility of regional implementation of satellite index-based livestock insurance (IBLI) in the eight countries comprising the IGAD region.

WP2: Establish a regional, harmonized, and publicly available database of indicators that are relevant for developing and accessing IBLI products, and identify a set of analytic approaches to assess the quality of prospective solutions and monitor their outcomes.

WP3: Develop protocols and collect historical baseline data on drought impacts in pastoral areas needed to assess and compare the quality of IBLI or alternative index-based drought risk financing products and to design a new network of sentinel zones in the region.

Other outputs and coverage

Funded by 

This project was funded with UK aid from the UK government, via the SHEAR research programme


Francesco Fava

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