UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction

Sasakawa Award

Recognizing excellence in DRR

The United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction is awarded to an individual or institutions that have taken active efforts in reducing disaster risk in their communities and advocates for disaster risk reduction. UNISDR is the administrator of the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction.

Nominations for the United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction are now closed. The Award will be presented during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction on 16 May 2019.

The United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction is one of three prestigious prizes established in 1986 by founding Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, Mr. Ryoichi Sasakawa. It is worth approximately US $50,000 and is shared among the Laureates.

Nominees also receive Certificates of Distinction and Merit.The Award recognizes individuals, organizations and initiatives that have best contributed to ensuring inclusive, accessible and non-discriminatory participation in disaster risk reduction activities for all sections of society, especially the poor.

After reviewing more than 61 nominations, the Sasakawa jury members composed  of Najla Bouden Romdhane, Marcie Roth, and Eduardo Martinez  shortlisted the following 14 nominees:

  • Seacology , Sri Lanka
  • Mahila Housing SEWA Trust, India
  • Atma Connect, Indonesia
  • Global Network of Civil ​Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), United Kingdom
  • Cyclone Preparedness Programme of Bangladesh, Bangladesh
  • The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Gana
  • Department of Civil Defense of Campinas, Brazil
  • Deicy Silva Wenas, Indonesia
  • Zenaida Delica-Willison, Philippines
  • Dr. Leandro Torres Di Gregorio, Brazil
  • Carlos Kaiser, Chile
  • Dr. Sunil Kumar Chaudhary, India
  • Dr. Pramod Kumar Mishra, India
  • Dr. Morteza Bastami, Islamic Republic of Iran


The names of the final three awardees will be announced at the Sasakawa Award Ceremony that will take place at the Global Platform on 16 May at 6:15 pm Room 2, CICG, Geneva.


All the nominations are now available on the Sasakawa Award page




2013 Sasakawa Award

2017: AMADORA Municipality, Portugal and DRES - Safe Schools Programme, Islamic Republic of Iran.

The 2017 award recognised projects that have made a substantial contribution towards saving lives and reducing global disaster mortality. According to the jury they demonstrated the most durable, sustained, inclusive and comprehensive institutional efforts in disaster risk management.

2013 Sasakawa Award

2015: Model Researcher - Allan Lavall (Costa Rica)

The highly respected researcher and practitioner in disaster risk reduction, Allan Lavell was the laureate in 2015. His work, which spans four decades, adopts a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach.

2013 Sasakawa Award

2013: Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and National Alliance for Risk Reduction and Response Initiative (Bangladesh)

Under the theme "Acting As One", Belo Horizonte was recognized for fostering cooperation between local residents, public utility companies and private businesses, and NARRI for demonstrating the scale of impact which can be achieved through working in collaboration.

2011 Sasakawa Award

2011: Cities of San Francisco (Philippines), Santa Fe (Argentina), and the District of North Vancouver (Canada)

San Francisco was recognized for its innovative use of the Purok system; Santa Fe for effectively communicating risk to citizens; the District of North Vancouver for providing as much information where possible to its community.

Press Release for 2009 Sasakawa Award

2009: Dr. Eko Teguh Paripurno, Indonesia

Dr Paripurno is the Director of the Research Center for Disaster Management of the University of National Development in Yogyakarta and consultant to local and national governments as well as to various civil society organizations.

Press Release for 2007 Sasakawa Award

2007: Professor Yoshiaki Kawata, Japan and Tony Gibbs, Caribbean engineer in building safety,

Professor Kawata was awarded for his promotion of research and knowledge about past disasters. Mr Gibbs is also being awarded for his advocacy and leadership role in sharing his knowledge with engineers, architects, builders and the general public.

Press Release for 2005 Sasakawa Award

2005: Mr. Chimeddorj Batchulluun, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mongolia

Mr. Batchulluun provided a model for effective risk reduction combining traditional and cultural values with modern technical capabilities to increase the resilience of herding communities in Mongolia.

Press Release for 2004 Sasakawa Award

2004: Dr. Omar Dario Cardona, Colombia

Dr. Cardona is a Colombian earthquake engineer known internationally for his pioneering approaches to vulnerability reduction and risk management. He has made a remarkable contribution introducing the concept of structural seismic vulnerability.

Press Release for 2003 Sasakawa Award

2003: Mrs. Tadzong, née Esther Anwi Mofor, Provincial Chief of Service for Planning and Guidance, Ministry of National Education, Cameroon

Mrs. Tadzong is the driving force behind the Global Centre for Compliance, Hazard and Disaster Management which was created to help victims and survivors after a serious industrial accident.

Press Release for 2002 Sasakawa Award

2002: Professor Dr. Serguei Balassanian, President, Armenian Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (AASPEI), Armenia

Professor Balassanian was recognized for his long-term dedication to seismic disaster risk reduction, and for mobilizing the scientific and political community on disaster reduction.

Press Release for 2001 Sasakawa Award

2001: Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), Germany

GFMC was selected unanimously for its long-term commitment to disaster reduction and continued research activities for their reduction of wild land fires worldwide, as well as for its multiple cooperation projects in developing countries, involving local communities.

Download the 2000 Sasakawa Report

2000: Fondo para la Reconstrucción y el Desarrollo Social del Eje Cafetero (FOREC), Colombia

FOREC's innovative approach lies in the application of a public management model for disaster reconstruction, based on the full participation and involvement of NGOs in the rehabilitation process.


Previous Laureates

The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2018, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 3-6 July 2018 The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2018, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 3-6 July 2018.
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