The combination of increasing vulnerability and intensity of natural disasters has led to severe humanitarian impacts in recent years. The uncertainty of environmental change and growing populations suggests that this trend is a cause for significant concern. Increasingly, nations are seeking additional methods to increase their financial resilience to disaster events. Sovereign disaster risk financing and insurance (SDRFI) may be the panacea for managing disaster risk at a national level. However, there is a need for better evidence to enhance, guide and support these programmes. The design of SDRFI programmes aim to maximise their impact and reduce the human and economic cost of disasters. This paper presents an overview of 16 technical background papers that offer insights into the development of an impact appraisal methodology for SDRFI evaluation. The papers are part of a joint project between the UK Department for International Development and the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.