Infrastructure resilience is a critical global challenge. In lower income countries, a huge and widening infrastructure deficit conspires against social and economic development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Weak infrastructure governance leads to premature obsolescence of much of the infrastructure that exists, and poor quality and unreliable essential services, such as related to water, power, transport, health, and education. Disaster loss and damage, associated with both geological and climate related hazards is increasing, meaning that vital capital investments are diverted to repair, rehabilitate, and reconstruct existing infrastructure assets. At the same time, the transition to net-zero economies is gaining momentum in sectors such as energy and transport, mandating radical changes in the way infrastructure is developed and used. Unfortunately, the resources required in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) to close the infrastructure deficit, achieve the SDG, transition to net-zero and strengthen resilience are at least one order of magnitude greater than current investment.

Making the case for infrastructure resilience has, up to now, relied as much on rhetoric and aspiration as on data-driven evidence. The risk to infrastructure assets in specific sectors and territories is estimated by the insurance industry, in order to calibrate premiums. However, this vital information is rarely made publicly available. Without clear and explicit financial risk metrics, it is impossible for governments or investors to estimate the contingent liabilities they hold in existing or new infrastructure, or to calculate the dividend that could be captured through investing in resilience.

This first Biennial Report on Global Infrastructure Resilience: Capturing the Resilience Dividend from the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) now begins to fill that information vacuum, bringing together for the first time a unique body of evidence to make a compelling economic, political, and financial case to radically upscale investment in infrastructure resilience. The brand new Global Infrastructure Risk Model and Resilience Index (GIRI) developed by a consortium of scientific and technical organisations for CDRI, has generated, for the first time ever, a suite of publicly available financial risk metrics for each country and territory in the world, for all major infrastructure sectors (power and energy, transport, telecommunications, water and waste water, ports and airports, oil and gas, health and education) and for most major hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, floods, cyclonic wind, storm surge and hydrological drought).

We believe making these metrics available through the Biennial Report and via an interactive on-line platform that allows for visualisation, query and analysis by governments and investors will be a game changer. The rhetoric that has characterised the call for infrastructure resilience up to now can now be validated with globally comparable metrics. As is so often said, what cannot be measured cannot be managed.

In CDRI, therefore, we expect that this Biennial Report will, give a much needed impulse to infrastructure resilience. The resilience dividend refers to the full range of benefits that can accrue from investing in infrastructure resilience.

These include avoided asset loss, reduced service disruption, better quality and reliable public services, accelerated economic growth and social development, reduced carbon emissions, enhanced biodiversity, improved air and water quality, and more efficient land use, among others. Estimating this dividend provides economic and financial incentives to increase investment in infrastructure resilience.

However, the challenge is not only to increase investment but to radically change the way we develop our infrastructure systems. To address this challenge, CDRI convened a process of co-production of knowledge involving dozens of institutions and experts from around the world to provide essential material for policy makers, investors, and infrastructure developers to facilitate an upscaling of approaches to infrastructure resilience, such as Nature Based Infrastructure Solutions (NbIS), that not only contribute to asset and service resilience, but which can address systemic risks such as anthropic climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

CDRI is a new international organisation, headquartered in India, with an ambition to become a leading global voice advocating for resilient infrastructure. This first edition of our Biennial Report is placed at the service of governments, investors and others around the world with an intention to further the dialogue on how to implement key recommendations in the report. The report is also aimed at broadening and deepening our collaboration with all our partners towards the goal of strengthening infrastructure resilience.

Amit Prothi

Director General
CDRI New Delhi, India,
September 2023

Chapter 1

The Resilience Challenge

Chapter 2

The Global Landscape of Infrastructure Risk

Chapter 3

Strengthening Systemic Resilience: Upscaling Nature-based Infrastructure
Solutions (NbIS)

Chapter 4

Financing for Disaster- and Climate-Resilient Infrastructure

Chapter 5

Capturing the Resilience Challenge

Annexure I

Looking Forward: How to Monitor Progress towards Infrastructure Resilience