Organizational risk management

Risk Management is the process by which an aid agency assesses its program intentions against the various risks to the agency, staff and intended beneficiaries. Risk Management methodologies show great variations across the individual agencies. In general, the aim is to identify strategies to mitigate the risks by reducing the likelihood of incidents or their potential consequences, and how to manage the remaining risk ('residual risk', that cannot be mitigated). Risks to an agency arise from a spectrum of external and internal threats: physical threats such as conflict, kidnapping and criminal behaviour; environmental threats such as disease or disaster; and organizational threats such as corruption or reputational damage.

Woman looking at electronic panel

Photo: Emile Krijgsman

Key references

Brief summary of the risk management approach, as well as promising and poor practices in organizational risk management

Applied research study with 14 major international NGOs, analyzing the current challenges, approaches, and tools for risk management in humanitarian operations

Article emphasizing the need for a broader understanding of risk in order to contribute to flexible and organization-wide judgements of risk exposure

Crosscutting themes

Regulatory environment

Toolkit outlining a range of counterterrorism measures, and the risk management procedures that humanitarian organizations employ to address the impact of these measures

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