This project explored the challenging problem of how to effectively shape human institutional responses to the risks of natural disasters with a special focus on floods. Asia accounts for about 90% of the world population affected by natural disasters, with more than half as a result of floods. Although a variety of domestic and regional institutions, including legislation, administration, policies and strategies are in place here and risk reduction measures are undertaken the vulnerability of people to floods remains high both in developed and in developing countries; the poor are especially vulnerable. Countries selected for analysis represent developed, transition economies and developing countries (Japan, Russian Federation, Thailand and Viet Nam): for each country counteracting floods is at the top of their national risk reduction agenda; institutional capacities and responses, however, vary considerably across them. This project will compare major lessons learned and possibilities and constraints for cross-country transfer and adaptation of best practices in institutional capacity building in the region.