The institute was founded in 2012 under the legal name “Gravitazz Consulting PTY Ltd” by a group of experts with rich humanitarian experiences who felt the vital need for such an organisation to better integrate Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into development and humanitarian policies and planning across the African continent. This area was seen as a niche in the market that few actors were exploiting at that moment and hence led to the establishment of the Gravitazz Institute for Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management (GIDREM). Initially, the scope of work was broad with a primary emphasis on development management.
During 2012 and 2013, the organisation operated mainly in Namibia, even though it was registered in South Africa and had intermittent opportunities. However, by the end of 2013, it became evident that Namibia was not the ideal setting for a company with continental ambitions and focus shifted to South Africa. It was clear that operations needed to span throughout Africa. Part of this strategy was to open up satellite offices in a number of key countries where needs were identified and where there was a potential market.
This strategic approach of setting up satellite offices in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Cameroon did not bring the expected outcomes. It was therefore deliberated to consolidate all activities in one place – in the form of a head office – and to rather second staff for field research/work if necessary.
While the topical concentration remained on research, capacity-strengthening and technical support, attention was given to training resulting in the institute’s achievement, as an accredited training and education institute through the Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA).
The year 2016 on the other hand laid emphasis on consulting services and recruitment of highly skilled new staff with the aim to gain invaluable training and consulting/research experience to ultimately being poised to work on both areas simultaneously and effectively.
Today, Gravitazz has managed to acquire a name for itself as a reputable consultancy, research and capacity-strengthening institute. Since its foundation, the scope of the institute has changed to become continentally influential covering a broad spectrum with regards to natural and human-induced disasters, climate change adaptation (CCA), sustainable development, as well as complex emergencies around the world. Gravitazz was further created to provide crucial technical and practical support to various stakeholders – ranging from governments, private sector companies, UN agencies, as well as NPOs – in the field of DRR, CCA, and resilience-building amongst others through its vast international network of expert-consultants. Although Gravitazz mainly operates on the African continent, it does not limit itself geographically and seeks to act wherever technical expertise is needed through its work and capacity-strengthening projects.