Risk prioritisation and development impact assessment

Stage 4

Stage four of risk-informed development

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

Stage four of the risk-informed developing planning involves communities most at risk prioritising risks and considering impact assessments against their vision and goals. 

To achieve this stage, communities at risk need to gain a strengthened understanding of the impacts of development and how it adds to risks and vulnerabilities – as well as untangle complexities around rights, risk, resilience and capacity for adaptation. 

This will support prioritising critical or complex/multiple risks in order to take focused decisions around development that can improve their adaptation and resilience.

Risk prioritising and development impact assessments aims to: 

  • Critically analyse and assess risk and vulnerability factors that reduce resilience
  • Analyse impacts of development activities (of the past, present and future) that are directly relevant to the community and locality
  • Understand the interplay of various regional and local factors of risks, especially disaster risk drivers, and analyse the impacts and consequences of hazards and risk drivers in the locality
  • Critically analyse capacities and potential for resilience building and adaptation by identifying opportunities to mitigate risks and its consequence
  • Prioritise risk to be addressed based on analysis, identifying key challenges in addressing risks and building resilience 
  • Delineate landscapes that are: hazard prone; ecologically sensitive; and suitable and safe for development
  • Identify the gaps in basic rights, needs, amenities and capacities in order to address them based on priority, and make decisions for sustainable development and adaptation
  • Support communities most at risk, civil society groups and technical experts to effectively collaborate in their decision-making, ensuring information captured in the previous stages is utilised


“There is no awareness programme on air pollution. We would like to know how we can reduce the risk of air pollution and remain healthy.” Paranati Patra, India © GNDR/Sarika Gulati

1. Consolidating information

Scan the data hub or library for knowledge and information on the locality, region or topic which is being considered. Repeat research activities as outlined in stage three, if there are any gaps in what is required. 

2. Consultation with experts

Identify technical advisory support. Identify local and regional institutions and/or experts to assist in analysis and seek advice on relevant data for carrying out analyses. 

3. Set up a collaborative analysis process 

Analysis and impact assessments using various participatory tools should ideally be collaborative with representatives of community members most at risk, civil society groups, local government representatives and technical experts. Invite those required to your analysis event. 

Collaboration may be explored through technical institutions, or by developing proposals for accessing corporate social responsibility, government, organisational or global funds. In situations where collaboration with technical experts is not feasible, training of selected community members may be explored. 

4. Participatory analysis

Carry out participatory exercises to analyse the information collected around a few of the above analysis methods. By using the data collected from the field and other open sources in stage three various assessments can be done. 

Since the analysis methods for some of these assessments is technical, design participatory formats of analysis in collaboration with technical experts or ask them to present their own findings. 

Participatory analysis methods to prioritise risks triggered by development impacts which communities can take part are:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Development impact assessment (environmental, social and economic impacts)
  • Overlay analysis to identify multi-risk areas
  • Land suitability analysis
  • Degradation and fragmentation of resilience infrastructure analysis

Further information can be added to the process through applying the radius of influence technique, calculating carrying capacity and seeking indicators of unsustainable practices. 

5. Decision-making

Record the proceedings of this stage by documenting the analysis process and the decisions made. 

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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