designing and implementing their partnercountry strategies
Donors are talking about sharing or poolingrisk.
Donors are starting to have more frank andopen conversations with partners, especially theUN and other multilateral partners, about whoshould bear the risks of operating in difficultenvironments, and what actions should be takenif things go wrong. This discussion is aimed atcountering the perception that donors are
‘dumping’ risk on their partners –
and thendemanding reimbursement of funds if programmes fail to achieve their objectives, or if misconduct, especially fraud, is uncovered.
How should we talk about riskand resilience?
Building on what has been learnt so far, someinitial guidelines for communicating about riskand resilience have emerged:
Be clear about what resilience means
. Aresilient system is characterized by a set of components relevant for different
individuals, communities and statesand their institutions (refer
What does resiliencemean for donors?
). These components arebuilt or strengthened by enhancing theabsorptive, adaptive and transformationcapacities of each of these layers.
Differentiate the political agenda from thetechnical approach.
Both the political agendabehind resilience (the
‘why’) and the technicalapproach (the ‘what’ and ‘how’) are necessary
to ensure that development, climate change andhumanitarian actors are working together tobuild resilience of
, and connectthese to form a resilient system. The politicalagenda continues to be useful in bringing thedifferent actors together, and to highlight theneed for investments in resilience. The technicalapproach helps translate those commitmentsinto concrete action on the ground. However,
they are very different animals
promoting thepolitical agenda will not in itself achieve thedesired sea-change in programming. Similarly, just rolling out a technical approach, withoutadequate political support and buy-in, will notlead to solid and coherent programming acrossdonors, especially in the field.
Clarify that resilience is not about stand-aloneprogramming or projects
. Resilience is aboutensuring that all programing
whetherdevelopment, climate change or humanitarian
is targeted at empowering people to make thebest possible choices about the risks they face,and to make the best of opportunities whenthey arise. It is about looking at programmingthrough a risk lens: knowing what the mostsignificant risks are in a particular context, andensuring that all programming works to buildthe resilience of people, communities, andstates and their institutions to those risks.Implementing resilience may mean a shift in thepriorities of each donor, and in how differentsector programmes are designed and linkedtogether. It might also mean reconsideringwhich funding instruments are best suited forthe particular country context, a shift towards joint planning, and increasing programmeflexibility to deal with evolving contexts. It doesnot mean a new resi
lience ‘pillar’ or a raft of
new resilience programmes and fundingmechanisms.
Confirm that working on resilience does notmean spending more money, or creating newfunding tools.
Resilience is not about moremoney, nor is it about inventing new fundingtools. Instead, it is about working smarter inexisting programmes, within existing budgets.However, adopting a resilience approach doesmean that donors and other actors will need tomake trade-offs, some of which may initially bepolitically difficult. Convincing a programmemanager or government official to spend moneyon retrofitting existing schools, or on market risktransfer mechanisms (including, for example,insurance) instead of building new schools, maymeet initial resistance. Appropriate evidenceand incentives must be provided to ensure that