The Damir Cemerin Award is named after a founding member of the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, who died in 2013 after long service in support of disaster risk reduction in his home country of Croatia as well as globally. The Award recognizes the work of an individual in building resilience to disasters at the community level.

In the previous years, efforts have been undertaken to link this award with the themes linked to the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). Therefore, the 2017 Damir Cemerin Award will focus on reducing the numbers of affected, particularly among groups less well-equipped to manage disaster risk e.g. persons living with disability, older persons, children, women and girls.

The champion will be announced at the opening ceremony of the EFDRR Open Forum on 27 March. ​