STRATEGY 2020-25

Goal 3

Strive for risk-informed development


A risk-informed approach from the perspective of people most at risk enables more sustainable and resilient development and challenges everyone involved to recognise that development choices create risk as well as opportunity.

Sustainable development can only be achieved when local risk is fully understood. Risk is potential for adverse impacts on the lives, livelihoods and assets of people. And levels of risk are determined by the threats people face, their vulnerability, and their capacities.

When development is not risk-informed, communities report that far from offering progress, this so called ‘development’ is actually creating risk, increasing existing risk and wiping out any potential gains.

Critical to understanding and assessing the complex threats and risks, challenges and opportunities, uncertainties and options faced by communities most at risk, is the need to partner with those people who are most at risk. Where these partnerships happen, the need for coherence among sectors and policies is clear, especially in crisis or post-crisis contexts: violence, hazards and political instability are all part of the same equation for communities living in vulnerable circumstances.

If we understand the need for humanitarian action as a failure of development, a stronger integration of development, humanitarian, peace-building policies, actions and actors is required.

Further understanding and implementation of the triple nexus approach is essential to achieve sustainable development which is risk-informed and builds the resilience of people most at risk.

Through a range of member-led activities, GNDR is ideally placed to ensure that local knowledge, expertise and realities are contributing to the development plans of all actors, including government, international institutions and the private sector, so that policies and practices are more risk-informed.

Even in one location, a community can face a diversity of needs and risks. Those needs and the means to reduce risk are all connected.

This challenge is not just locally, but also nationally and internationally.

Governments have committed to implementing a range of international frameworks and, taken together, they reflect the range of risks and needs of a community. But often these frameworks lack coherence at the local level and are implemented in isolation, by different government departments. This not only creates inefficiencies and the potential to reduce, rather than build resilience, but also misses the connections between these needs and the underlying causes of risk.

Achieving our goal



  • All sectors believe they must build resilience whilst advancing development

Indicators of Success

  • Number of humanitarian and development actors reporting understanding of the benefits of risk-informed development, as measured by Partner Survey
  • Number of international documents that mention the importance of risk-informed development, as measured by policy analysis


  • Campaign on coherence looking at the full picture of the experience of a most at risk community when designing development initiatives, showcasing the benefits (in economic and non- economic terms) of risk-informed development



  • Evidence-based knowledge exists and is applied on how to do effective risk-informed development in the context of six drivers of risk

Indicators of Success

  • Increase in knowledge of how to do risk-informed development in all six contexts, as measured by post-activity evaluations and annual membership survey
  • Application of new knowledge on how to do risk-informed development in all six contexts, as measured by post-activity evaluations and annual membership survey


  • Launch ‘A Decade To Get It Done’ – a series of local action-research programmes on some of the biggest barriers and challenges for risk informed development, producing cookbooks on subjects such as ‘How to build resilience for people on the move?’ and ‘How to build resilience in conflict settings?’ These research programmes will be linked with regional universities to create incubators of knowledge
  • Strengthen capacity of members and others to implement approaches to risk-informed development in these complex contexts. This will be through a Community Exchange programme and the development of cookbooks, trainings, webinars, and mentorships
  • Establish an Innovative Solution Bank to allow members to deposit new approaches online and learn from others



  • Different sectors at different levels have opportunities to coordinate

Indicators of Success

  • Increase in coordination between different departments, as measured by Partner Survey


  • Hold national collaboration meetings between different sectors and departments
  • Campaign on flexible national budgeting that allows for resources to be allocated for risk in an integrated way.
  • Establish ‘A Seat at the Humanitarian Table’ initiative to allow local CSOs bringing a resilience perspective to be a part of humanitarian decision-making processes



  • All actors, not just DRR practitioners, have clear roles and responsibilities for taking risk into account

Indicator of Success

  • Humanitarian and development standards include consideration of risk, as measured by policy analysis
  • Number of governments that are aligning their reporting process for global frameworks, as measured by policy analysis


  • Support institutions integrate risk perspectives into development and humanitarian standards.
  • Encourage governments to align their national and local targets and indicators for development, DRR and climate change adaptation
  • Design online platform or app for people to report when development is not risk-informed


Development takes risk into account

How will we measure this?

Quantitative indicators
  • Increase in % of members from communities most at risk who perceive that development plans and activities consider risk


  • Annual membership survey
  • Views from the Frontline survey conducted at the end of strategy
Qualitative indicator
  • Stories of risk-informed development from all GNDR regions


  • 33% of members from communities most at risk think that local investment projects and local development plans take into account risks in some way (Views from the Frontline 2019)