Systems mapping and human centered design: incentivizing cross-sector collaboration for disaster resilience

Natural disasters in the Caribbean are becoming more ferocious and frequent. This, coupled with the increasing detrimental impacts of climate change, mean that the vulnerabilities faced by small island nations in the Eastern Caribbean are only set to intensify. From governments to businesses to civil society groups, all members of Caribbean communities are impacted by the disruption and devastation that disasters wreak.

Through the Caribbean Corporate Investment for Resilience (CCIR) project, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) is exploring a new approach to cross-sector collaboration in the humanitarian space. Designed and managed by the Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI), the activity is driven by local stakeholder perspectives, and integrates two primary methodologies: systems thinking and human-centered design (HCD).

Driving this exploration is a central question of how sustained engagement and investment from the private sector in disaster risk reduction might be achieved:

Is there a way to structure private sector collaboration with humanitarian actors that preserves or improves corporate operations and value chains while increasing the efficiency and reach of disaster response?

Through collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders in the Caribbean, we are on a journey to pilot a Corporate Impact Model that would more substantively engage the private sector in strengthening disaster resilience in the Eastern Caribbean region. The CCIR project demonstrates a collaborative, stakeholder-driven process for identifying shared-value incentives to invest in taking forward solutions founded on the basis of strengthened collaboration and enhanced coordination in advance of and in response to natural and manmade disasters.

For a brief overview of our journey to date, please see the below project snapshot document.

As we progress on implementing the pilot model over the coming six months, we will be sharing a series of blogs on our journey so far — including discussing the approach we are taking, key lessons learned, and where we are headed. Stay tuned!

For a downloadable PDF of the above document, please click here.

For more information on the project, please contact us on and we would be happy to connect with you.




GKI empowers people to lead transformational change within ourselves, our organizations and the systems around us to build a future we all want to live in.

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Global Knowledge Initiative

Global Knowledge Initiative

GKI empowers people to lead transformational change within ourselves, our organizations and the systems around us to build a future we all want to live in.

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