Risk analysis and modeling

The Risk Analysis and Modeling research theme advances methods and tools for evaluating risks arising in socio-ecological systems and their management options. 

© Radenmas | Dreamstime

© Radenmas | Dreamstime

Quantitative risk analysis links models of event severity, exposure and vulnerability of system components (people, assets, environment), and system linkages.

Understanding the physical events involved in extreme events and natural disasters, as well as their consequences, is becoming increasingly complex due to socioeconomic shifts, climate change, and the systemic and dependent nature of the hazards.

Social and governance complexities make effective risk-management even more challenging.


The major focus of the Risk Analysis and Modeling lies on:

  • Quantitative modeling of extreme events and systemic risks through the use of advanced statistical techniques and multi-agent based modeling.
  • New methods for the economic modeling of natural disasters and climate extremes using diverse economic theories.
  • Novel approaches for modeling stakeholder preferences and interactions, analyzing institutional dynamics and social complexity.


The latest applications of risk modeling tools include:

  • Extreme drought and flood risks including risks of multiple breadbasket failures
  • Systemic risk of financial  and migration networks
  • Disaster risk assessment using a demand-driven growth model
  • Evolutionary dynamics of stakeholder plurality


The research currently feeds into the following projects: 

DRR Co-benefit

Disaster risk reduction (DRR) investments not only protect productive assets and lives, but if implemented appropriately, they could yield a number of additional benefits that could enhance well-being and resilience. While this fact is not yet sufficiently recognized by a wider policy audience, the DRR Co-benefit project aims to bridge this knowledge gap by quantifying the direct and indirect benefits of DRR investments. More


A projected increase in climate extreme events and an increasingly inter-dependent food supply system pose a threat to global food security. The Multiple Breadbasket Failure Initiative is a cross-cutting project at IIASA that looks into systemic food systems risks, cascading effects and catastrophe modelling in the agricultural sector. More

CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange Costs (COACCH)

COACCH (CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange costs) is a Horizon 2020 project that aims to advance knowledge regarding climate change impacts and policy that can be used directly by stakeholder communities. More


MACRO uses an integrated catastrophe-macroeconomic modeling framework to study the case of cyclone risk management and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) achievement in Madagascar. More

Flood Resilience

IIASA is a core member of the Flood Resilience Alliance, an innovative partnership between research, development and humanitarian NGOs and the private sector that works together for making at step change with regard to policy, finance and practice of managing floods and other climate-related hazards towards increased community resilience. More

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Last edited: 26 February 2020


Franziska Gaupp

Guest Research Scholar Equity and Justice Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313