How We Work


GRiF’s mission is “to integrate financial resilience in the agenda of Finance Ministers, scaling up financial planning to address the fiscal and poverty impact of climate and disaster shocks and other crises.” It aims to help catalyze or incentivize the use of pre-arranged risk financing linked to broader World Bank country projects to embed risk financing and preparedness in investments across all sectors. 


Eligibility and Funding Priories 

GRiF is designed to work through country systems, which means grants will be embedded as part of larger World Bank country projects, reaching ultimate beneficiaries on the ground through country-owned delivery systems.

GRiF support will be provided as a priority to the poorest and most vulnerable countries. Support will also be available to countries for particularly innovative projects that help test and demonstrate new approaches and instruments.

Financing is available for a wide range of activities, including establishing risk financing mechanisms (e.g., up-front costs of setting up instruments such as disaster funds and risk pools); cost-sharing of risk financing mechanisms (e.g., co-payment of insurance premiums); providing technical and financial resources to improve delivery channels for response and recovery (e.g., the establishment of scalable safety nets) and integrate disaster risk in public financial management systems. 

The GRiF Portfolio includes a variety of projects that are in sectors which have not traditionally engaged with risk financing, that address different risks, and that use new financial products. The selection of projects going forward will prioritize country projects that focus on:

  •     The most vulnerable geographic areas
  •     Integration of financial planning in new sectors
  •     Innovation in financial solutions
  •     Expansion of tools and financial solutions to address new risks

It further prioritizes global public goods projects that:

  •     Provide implementation support to the GRiF portfolio
  •     Address key research and analytics gaps for country project assessment criteria

In coordination with Steering Committee and Technical Committee members, the GRiF Secretariat responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by quickly adapting its funding approach and restructuring a portion of its pipeline. This was an effort to support countries in better preparing for and responding to the possible compounding effects of future climate shocks and disasters, over and above the extensive financial impact caused by the pandemic.

Operations Manual 

The GRiF Operations Manual was endorsed at the First Steering Committee Meeting on November 6, 2018 in Brussels. It defines the program description, governance arrangements, and implementation arrangements of the GRiF. 

As part of the Operations Manual, a set of GRiF Principles has been established to evaluate GRiF grants, focused on portfolio resource allocation, project appraisal and product review. An Appraisal Framework has been developed to guide GRiF decision making on grant approval in line with the GRiF principles and helps task teams ensure that grant funding delivers maximum impact in DRF.

Grant Selection 

GRiF grants build financial solutions into World Bank projects so that financial planning can be a core part of countries’ development agendas. Because every sector, every project, and every country can be negatively affected by climate and disaster shocks, GRiF cofinances projects from across the World Bank. To facilitate the process of applying for GRiF grants for project teams, the GRiF grant process is aligned with the World Bank operational approval process.

World Bank teams that want to apply for GRiF funds develop a scoping note alongside the World Bank project Activity Initiation Note. When the Steering Committee endorses the scoping note, up to $200,000 in preparation funds is unlocked. These funds help further the development of both the concept and design of the proposed project. 

Following successful scoping, teams prepare a full-scale GRiF grant concept note. This must show country ownership of the effort to pursue financial solutions and must assess the activities against the GRiF appraisal matrix, which is designed from the GRiF principles. The GRiF grant concept note is usually prepared before or alongside the World Bank Project Concept Note stage. 

GRiF grants are endorsed by the Steering Committee, then awarded by the GRiF Secretariat. These steps generally occur prior to the Quality Enhancement Review for the full World Bank project. The GRiF grant project goes through the rest of the World Bank processes together with the larger project, which includes the Decision Meeting, Appraisal, Negotiations, and eventually Board Approval. As part of the World Bank project, the GRiF grant is finally approved only once the World Bank project is approved by the Board. 

Theory of Change 

The GRiF Theory of Change was developed as part of the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Framework. The TOC outlines GRiF inputs/activities, outputs, and intermediate outcomes. Longer-term changes and impacts are achieved through a continuous cycle of demonstration and learning that happens as pre-arranged financing instruments funded by GRiF investments activate due to disasters, enabling GRiF staff and stakeholders to learn how risk planning and preparedness linked to risk finance solutions lead to improvements in DRF policy, data, and delivery systems.


GRiF grants are evaluated against a set of Guiding Principles and Appraisal Criteria to maximize the benefits to vulnerable people from earlier action and faster recovery.


The development of GRiF theory of change involves two pathways of change. One focuses on improving the response of vulnerable countries to disaster. The other looks at how GRiF investments will contribute to shifting the global multi-lateral system of response towards more ex-ante approaches.