Guiding principles of risk-informed development

11 principles for participation and approach

Five principles guide who is involved and how they participate in risk-informed development

1. Owned by communities most at risk

Recognition of community custodianship of commons (i.e. cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water and a habitable earth) by those who live there; the recognition of communities most at risk to take part in decisions and development processes that affect them.

2. Participatory

Meaningful and engaging spaces for multiple stakeholders to harness collective wisdom and capacities to make decisions together, diagnose challenges and chart a course of action to resolve them.

3. Inclusive

The inclusion of relevant and multiple stakeholders – particularly marginalised groups – for fair, equitable and effective results.

4. Gender transformative

Actively examine, question and change rigid gender norms and imbalances of power that advantage boys and men over girls and women.

5. Empowering

Remove barriers (individual, societal, systemic) that hinder people – especially those that are marginalised, denied rights or most at risk – from taking control of their own lives and the decisions that affect them.

Six principles guide how the risk-informed development process is approached and delivered.

1. Localised

Adaptable to ensure communities most at risk have the capacity, information, linkages, resources and power they need to decide how to strengthen their own resilience; this adaptation should be contextual and meet the requirements or unique conditions of a particular area.

2. Aspirational

Use imagined futures from individuals and groups themselves, especially those most at risk, to define and shape the world around them. 

3. Anticipatory

Take proactive intervention based on forecasts of predicted risks on the lives and livelihoods of the most marginalised, or drivers of development and change.

4. Evidence-based

An approach that involves making evidence-based deductions and conclusions which are then tested and further studied to arrive at the best solution, while retaining the perspectives and the interests of the communities most at risk.

5. Adaptive

Flexible to make changes when appropriate and to not compromise risk-informed development (whether short term or long term).

6. Result-oriented

Ensure that the development vision is translated into action and that these decisions and strategic actions show the expected results; this requires regular monitoring and management wherein all stakeholders involved are accountable.

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

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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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