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Global Risks and Resilience

ODI’s Global Risks and Resilience programme promotes risk-informed development.
Hero image description: Complex risks Image credit:Steven Dickie Image license:© Steven Dickie

What we do

New and emerging global threats, from climate change to pandemics, are more complex and interconnected than ever before. If not handled effectively, these risks could completely alter our socio-economic, environmental, peace and security systems.

ODI’s Global Risks and Resilience programme promotes risk-informed development. Our international team of experts work with policymakers and businesses across different sectors and countries: supporting them to understand risks, acknowledge trade-offs, and build resilience in a rapidly changing world.

Our risk-informed development (RID) approach assesses complex threats, and helps development decisionmakers to understand the risks, opportunities, uncertainties and options they face. This foundational report explains the importance of RID, and why “only resilient development can become sustainable development".

Featured work

Many of the Global Risks and Resilience team will be attending COP28 in Dubai. ODI's official COP28 page will be updated regularly with new commentary and resources on some of the big developments emerging from the talks.

Find out more

NOVEMBER 30: Delegates during the UNFCCC Formal Opening of COP28 at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 at Expo City Dubai on November 30, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Understanding transboundary climate risks

Climate change does not respect borders, yet transboundary climate risks remain a neglected topic of research and policy. The Global Risks and Resilience programme pioneers research into understanding these risks, as well as the impacts and trade-offs that the adaptation and mitigation actions of one country can create for other countries. Our evidence is used to advise institutions, policymaking bodies and others on how to work together to reduce risks and more effectively build climate resilient development.

Supporting resilient Small Island Developing States

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face unique climate challenges. ODI’s global advisory network, the Resilient and Sustainable Islands Initiative (RESI), works with SIDS and their partners to build more resilient economies and societies, and achieve climate justice.

Finance for resilience

Financing plays a key role in the implementation of international agreements on climate change, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. Global Risks and Resilience focuses on the financial flows, mechanisms and tools which contribute to climate resilience and adaptation in the context of multiple risks. This includes looking at how to scale up finance flows to Small Island Developing States and fragile and conflict-affected countries: two groups which receive less adaptation finance than other developing countries despite their disproportionate vulnerability to climate change.

Adapting to a changing climate

Global Risks and Resilience generates research and advises decison-makers on effective, inclusive climate change adaptation. This includes promoting locally led and gender-responsive adaptation work, and understanding how nature-based solutions can be a key part of more sustainable development in a changing climate.

The geopolitics of connectivity

Interconnectivity and globalisation have transformed the way the world works. But while these changes have brought many benefits, they have also created threats which cross national borders, and which give rise to complex risks. Global Risks and Resilience supports decisionmakers to better understand the risks, opportunities and uncertainties they face, and the options they have to make more informed development decisions.

Understanding energy transitions

The transition from fossil fuel dependence to a low-carbon world is critical; it will also be difficult. Global Risks and Resilience supports businesses and decision-makers to navigate energy security concerns and possible development trade-offs related to the energy transition, and to make sure that renewable energy systems are resilient to rapidly changing threats.

China 2049

How China views and responds to global risks has significant relevance to world affairs. With its wealth of China expertise, Global Risks and Resilience generates in-depth analysis of how the country is addressing global challenges and risks: going beyond day-to-day coverage to provide reports, commentary, training and bespoke advisory services to a wide range of stakeholders.

Watch: 'China pressured to reduce its carbon emissions at global climate change summit'

"Yes, [China thinks] climate change is important, but energy security is more important... That resilience on coal as a transition fuel is going to stay in China's energy mix for the foreseeable future."

Director of Global Risks and Resilience, Dr. Rebecca Nadin, was interviewed for PBS News Hour at COP27 about China's climate and energy priorities.

Watch the interview here

View of rooftops and smokestacks, China.

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Our team

All Global Risk and Resilience content

  1. Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Engages in Discussion on ‘Unleashing the Power of Human Capital’ at ODI


  2. Preparatory meetings for the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States: participation, priorities and outcomes

    Meeting/conference reports

  3. Small Islands Big Picture episode 4: Can we find solutions to climate change-induced sea-level rise?

  4. Renminbi on the road

  5. Climate-resilient development for Somalia

    Research reports

  6. Climate Blueprint: Dominica – London Premiere at Rich Mix


  7. Catalysing cohesive action on climate and security


  8. Enhancing access to climate finance for Small Island Developing States: Considerations for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board

    Briefing/policy papers

  9. Documentary | Climate Blueprint: Dominica

  10. Small Islands Big Picture episode 3: What are the distinctive challenges faced by small non-sovereign islands?

  11. Small Islands Big Picture episode 2: How can the UN Multidimensional Vulnerability Index help small island states?

  12. Small Islands Big Picture podcast


  13. Small Islands Big Picture episode 1: Why do small islands matter?

  14. Financing climate adaptation in fragile states: A case of Somalia

    Briefing/policy papers

  15. Barriers to addressing climate change-related losses and damages in low- and middle-income countries


  16. China’s investment in digital infrastructure along the Belt and Road

    Emerging analysis

  17. A global bargain for resilient prosperity in Small Island Developing States

    Briefing/policy papers

  18. Managing the geopolitical risks of Ukraine’s reconstruction: unlocking financial diplomacy


Elsewhere on the web