2015 Sasakawa Award

Model researcher wins 2015 Sasakawa Award 

The Jury of the 2015 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction today said the work of this year’s winner – Allan Lavell – that he represents “A timeless model; a model for all times.”

The Head of the Sasakawa Award Jury Prof. Dr. Murat Balamir said: “This personal performance is a perfect example of how grand achievements are possible with individual dedication, despite humble resources and grants. The enduring and most influential individual efforts of Mr. Lavell, in undertaking various roles in a multi-actor environment, make him a leader in the DRM community.”

Mr. Lavell, born in Britain but based in the Americas for much of his career, is a highly respected researcher and practitioner in disaster risk reduction. His work, which spans four decades, adopts a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach. He has authored multiple publications and has had papers presented at conferences in 42 different countries.

He is someone judged to have helped in ‘Shaping the Future’, the theme of this year’s Award.

A Certificate of Distinction was accepted by Ivy Gordon, director of the Jeffrey Town Farmers’ Association, Jamaica, for innovative grassroots community development. A second Certificate was granted to the Australian Business Roundtable and accepted by Mr. Robert Tickner, Australian Red Cross CEO and Ms. Julie Batch of the Insurance Australia Group.

The Sasakawa Award is sponsored by the Nippon Foundation and organized by the Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).



The 2015 Sasakawa Award generated a record 88 nominations from 44 countries. Read about the 33 longlisted candidates, who will be celebrated in Sendai, Japan, at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Joaquín Roa Burgos, Minister of National Emergencies, Paraguay
Programa Hospital Seguro de México, Mexico
Rabaul Volcanological Observatory, Papua New Guinea
Heritage Foundation of Pakistan
Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network (DiDRRN), Indonesia
Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities (FINALIST)
Dr. Ali Ardalan, Iran
Dr. Mark Keim, USA
International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (IISEE), Japan
Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment Through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Inc., Philippines
International Consortium on Landslides (ICL), Japan
Displacement Solutions (Climate Change and Displacement Initiative), Switzerland
Care Society, Maldives
Heifer International, Philippines
The Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET), USA
Inclusiva, Chile
Mr. Gopalan Nair Shankar, India
Mr. Allan Lavell, Costa Rica (FINALIST)
Bogo City and First Lt Ben Fredrick R. Rodriguez, Philippines
Homeless People’s Federation Philippines, Inc., Philippines
DOST- UP Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) Program, Philippines
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Thailand
Jeffery Town Farmers Association, Jamaica (FINALIST)
Red Metropolitana, Colombia
Tuti Community, Sudan
Ms. Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, Haiti
Crisis Management Center and Rapid Response Service 911, Armenia
Myanmar Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group
Mashhad Municipality, Iran
Design for Disasters (D4D), Thailand
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), India
SlopeWatch, Malaysia
Morefuninquezon, Philippines