Managing Risks in Fragile and Transitional Contexts

The Price of Success?

image of Managing Risks in Fragile and Transitional Contexts

From the anarchy of Somalia to the relative stability of Nepal, fragile and transitional situations represent a broad spectrum of contexts. However, they share some common features: these are risky environments – for the people who live there, for their governments, for neighbouring countries, and for those who seek to provide assistance. Positive outcomes are hard to achieve and the risk of regression in countries emerging from armed conflict is high.

International engagement in these situations presents significant risks for donors and implementing partners, but also holds the potential for substantial rewards in terms of improved results and outcomes. Indeed, more often than not, the risks associated with not engaging in these contexts – both for the countries themselves and for the international community – outweigh most of the risks of engaging in the first place. The question therefore is not whether to engage but how to engage in ways that are context-specific and do not come at an unacceptable cost.

This publication provides the evidence to help donors understand how to balance risks and opportunities in order to protect the integrity of their institutions while delivering better results to those who need it most.



Annex E. Conclusions and proposed next steps

“Risk and Results Management in Development Cooperation: Towards a Common Approach”

On 25 and 26 November 2010, experts and policy makers from a wide range of member states and international development and humanitarian organisations met in Copenhagen to explore issues relating to the risks inherent in development cooperation, including both humanitarian, development and stabilisation interventions. The conference aimed to review different organisational perspectives on risk and risk management, to share learning from the experience of aid engagement in selected contexts, and to identify practical options for managing results and for improving financial, operational and political risk management.


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