About the Risk and Resilience programme

We deliver high quality research, analysis and policy advice to decision-makers – from international donors to national governments and NGOs – on how to understand and manage complex risks to build resilience.

Our work covers traditional risks including the potential impacts of climate extremes and natural hazards on poverty and development, as well as emerging threats including cyber fragilities and trends such as population growth. We examine how these multiple factors interact to present risks and opportunities.

Our focus

Fallouts from various crises are drawing attention to the increasing complexity of risks arising from threats such as climate change and geopolitical volatility, and the challenges these pose to the achievement of global frameworks including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework.

The frequency, intensity, physical nature and geographical location of threats, risks and opportunities is ever changing. But failure to consider the complexity of threats and their interactions with development pathways creates development that is not sustainable, equitable or resilient. It also creates complex risks.

Traditional development approaches need to be reimagined to meet the challenges of rapidly changing contexts. Development needs to be both risk-informed and act upon that information. Understanding and acting on risk is a foundation for effective poverty reduction, sustainable development and humanitarian action.

Our objectives

  • To analyse multiple sources of risk – including climate, socioeconomic, natural and technological threats – that can undermine development gains and objectives, with the goal of informing risks management.
  • To identify opportunities brought about by environmental, economic and technological change, and investigate the risks and opportunities that arise from adopting certain courses of action.
  • To build awareness of the roles of risk tolerance, risk appetites and risk governance in shaping funding allocations and development objectives.
  • To promote the voices of the most vulnerable groups to ensure that no one is left behind in risk management decisions.
  • To enhance decision makers’ understandings of future trends to holistically manage emerging risks, and increase capacities for identifying complex threats, risks and uncertainty in development, climate adaptation and disaster risk management decisions.

Our work

We deliver high-quality research, analysis and policy advice for risk-informed development and complex risk management of:

  • Severe environmental change including climate change and natural hazards
  • Geopolitical volatility
  • Financial instability
  • Transnational criminal and terrorism networks
  • Cyber and technological fragility