Action with communities most at risk

Stage 7

Stage seven of risk-informed development

This resource forms stage seven of our Risk-Informed Development Guide, which provides a comprehensive stage-by-stage approach to working with communities most at risk.

Stage seven of the risk-informed development planning process recommends necessary steps to realise agreed actions – using the most viable and effective modes of action.

To achieve this stage, it is critical to anchor action, interventions and strategies in sustainability, resilience building and adaptation. 

Steps should be taken to identify the most viable and effective approach for each agreed action, strategy or intervention. Cooperation, partnerships and collaboration opportunities with other stakeholders and decision makers are also necessary to begin the implementation of actions.

Sourcing human resources and funds, finding partnerships with other stakeholders and aligning with local entrepreneurs is also required.

Actions with communities most at risk aim to: 

  • Realise human resources and capacities required to realise action (both within and beyond the community)
  • Realise funds and financing mechanisms involving community members, via government schemes and other external sources
  • Formalise partnerships for long and short-term action
  • Formalise informal community organisations – if the community agree; this is often essential to access financial support
  • Strengthen the capacities of community members most at risk, for implementation, monitoring and management
  • Support local entrepreneurs to undertake selected actions or strategic interventions; this may include supporting skills development, capacity strengthening and funding procurement

The main task in this stage is figuring out which mode of approach is best suited for each action or strategic intervention proposed, in consultation with urban, spatial or development planning experts.

1. Mode of action

Discuss and agree the right mode of carrying out, and realising, the agreed actions and strategies. Actions and strategic interventions can be realised and implemented through various modes. 

Some recommended modes include:

Pilot projects

Pilot projects can demonstrate the value of a specific action or project which can be replicated or re-adapted later based on the learning outcomes.

Tactical urbanism 

Tactical urbanism is “a city and citizen-led approach to neighbourhood building using short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions intended to create long-term change”. 

Temporal interventions 

These are interventions that are not permanent but dynamic in nature i.e. the intervention may be appropriate for a specific season in the year, for few days a week, or for certain hours of the day. This can be successfully applied in dynamic landscapes like floodplains of seasonal rivers, public spaces, parks, streets or agricultural lands.

Government funding

Submit proposals to local, regional or national governments where the proposal aligns with the requirements or objectives of government schemes in various sectors (e.g. relevant agencies or departments across various sectors like education, water supply, agriculture etc.)

Urban living labs

Initiate urban living labs in collaboration with technical institutions that are particularly suited for urban engagement. 

Children and youth

Mobilise children and youth to carry out monitoring and documentation exercises. This could be via schools or community groups and events. Aware and motivated children can bring great ideas. 


Innovation where viable proposed strategies/actions or interventions may be highlighted to seek from technical experts, or propose to them, innovative ideas in connection with communities most at risk. 


“Both men and women took part in the construction work because this is something that we had wanted for a long time.” John Mphaya, Malawi © GNDR/Homeline Media

2. Action plan

An implementation or action plan should be prepared by the risk-informed development taskforce, in order to keep track and operationalise the various actions agreed. It should document roles and responsibilities to deliver the plan, and set timelines and budgets for each action. It is recommended that you start with actions that can show immediate and evident results – this approach will help build momentum. 

3. Stakeholder engagement

Bring the local perspectives of communities to higher levels of government (e.g. city, regional, state or national authorities), and other stakeholders (e.g. relevant local private companies, institutions and organisations). 

While communicating with government departments, ensure that community members are represented directly. Share the community-led, risk-informed development planning process undertaken, along with the findings and action envisaged to seek cooperation, funding or feedback on existing policies. The GNDR advocacy toolkit sets out methods to achieve this. 

Next stage

Project partners

Our Risk-Informed Development Guide was produced as part of our Local Leadership for Global Impact project. The project and all related content was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). All content is the sole responsibility of GNDR and does not necessarily reflect the views of the BMZ.

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Our Local Leadership for Global Impact project is implemented in partnership with Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe.

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