Basis Risk in Disaster Risk Financing for Humanitarian Action Potential Approaches to Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing it

Harris, C. and Cardenes, I.
Publication language
Date published
01 Mar 2020
Research, reports and studies
Disaster risk reduction, Environment & climate
Centre for Disaster Protection

In finance, ‘basis risk’ is the systematic or inherent risk accepted in hedging.1 In disaster risk financing (DRF), where statistical risk models are used to try and predict the outcome of a likely or current event—and can trigger the release of financing—basis risk lies in the combination of inherent model error, context outcome uncertainties, and miscommunication or misinterpretation of a model’s capabilities. Clearly, as this paper sets out, in the context of humanitarian or crisis action, the ability of DRF systems to identify, calculate, reduce, and manage these risks is key to protecting lives, livelihoods, and assets.