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Risks and enablers

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Understanding how progress happens, and where we falter, is as important as understanding the challenges themselves. We identify, analyse and demonstrate the factors integral to securing and sustaining progress. These are key levers that enable the policy, practice, investment and accountability that change lives. We will build on ODI’s pioneering work on ‘doing development differently’ and ‘risk-informed development’, concepts that are transforming global understanding and practice.

Managing and mitigating risks

The rate, frequency, intensity and nature of risks are rapidly changing. Interconnected global risks threaten progress in human development, and our world is not well positioned to understand, manage and mitigate them. To develop meaningful policies and allocate resources, citizens and decision-makers must understand emerging and interdependent risks, opportunities and uncertainties. 

Understanding and acting on risk is a foundation for effective poverty reduction, development and humanitarian action. Risk-informed development pushes us to ground our actions in the problem: are we prepared for shocks and crises, and do we really understand them? How can we demonstrate that investing in prevention is both politically and economically the right choice? Are we focusing on the most appropriate solutions?

ODI is developing a robust, interdisciplinary platform that identifies new and emerging risks, develops evidence-based strategies to manage vulnerabilities and uncertainty, and provides decision-making support and options for policy-makers, donors and the private sector.

Managing risks: the impact we seek

We will ensure decision-makers in government, the private sector and civil society are better informed about how to identify and manage risks, trends and opportunities. 

We will foster collaboration between those working on climatic, conflict, pandemic and economic risks to identify joined-up approaches to addressing these challenges.

We will identify opportunities, tools and partnerships to scale up investments that effectively prevent risks, build resilience and improve millions of lives.

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Managing and mitigating risks.


Unlocking the enablers of progress

Politics, finance and technology ultimately define the shape and scale of progress. Understanding and unlocking these enablers is at the heart of ODI’s approach to identifying what works, where and why. 

Grounded in local contexts, our work supports policy-makers and practitioners to ‘do development differently’. We achieve this by working with them to integrate evidence, foresight, citizen perspectives and learning into decision-making, and to adaptively manage their efforts. Politics and institutions set the agenda and pathways for long-term advancement, and our work will increase understanding of the political economy of change and how to strengthen the social contract though accountable and inclusive institutions.

At the same time rapid changes in technology are also having profound impacts. Our work on digitalisation, automation, access to finance and connectivity, and our new initiative on technology and development will move this critical agenda forward with diverse partners. We will remain at the forefront of the transformation in financing for development and humanitarian assistance, incorporating new partners, tools and approaches.

As an adaptive organisation, we will also continue to focus on emerging issues with great positive and disruptive potential, and support our partners to do likewise. We will increase our pioneering work examining how migration impacts the achievement of the SDGs.

Unlocking enablers: the impact we seek

We will help our partners to understand how innovations in finance and technology can scale up impact and citizen engagement, while mitigating the negative aspects of rapid disruption.

We will support development actors at all levels to make decisions based on better evidence and increased understanding of institutions and politics, and to increase their effectiveness and accountability by adapting their strategies and implementation. 

We will provide an evidence base and collaborative platform to address both the challenges and the potential of migration and displacement.

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The enablers of progress.