Risk and Resilience

The broad range of risks and stressors that undermine development and fuel crises must be better addressed. Thus, integrated and effective approaches are needed to strengthen people and systems’ resilience to improve societies’ overall well-being, reach the most vulnerable and ensure we meet our post-2015 commitments.

What is resilience and how to operationalise it ?

Understanding resilience

The ability of households, communities and nations to absorb and recover from shocks, whilst positively adapting and transforming their structures and means for living in the face of long-term stresses, change and uncertainty. Resilience is about addressing the root causes of crises while strengthening the capacities and resources of a system in order to cope with risks, stresses and shocks.

Helping societies to better manage risks and shocks will ensure that our development investments are not undermined or destroyed by crises. Because different types of risks (violence and conflict, natural hazards, economic shocks, etc.) and stressors (such as urbanisation and ageing populations) are complex and interlinked, humanitarian and development actors, along with states, must work together more closely to target vulnerability.

Meeting Agenda 2030 commitments

The OECD plays a unique role bringing a broad range of political, humanitarian and development actors including OECD-DAC members, governments, the UN system and civil society together and driving better results by encouraging the sharing of good practice and by holding its members accountable to their international commitments.

The OECD helps OECD-DAC members increase the effectiveness and sustainability of their Official Development Assistance (ODA), and deliver Agenda 2030 goals and the commitments outlined by the World Humanitarian Summit in the agenda for humanity, including:

  1. Increasing coherence between humanitarian, development and peace and state-building actions: all actors should work in the same space, at the same time and in line with their respective comparative advantage. This ensures that immediate humanitarian needs are effectively met while also addressing the longer-term drivers of crises.
  2. Focusing on the most vulnerable: in order to end poverty, we must “reach those furthest behind first”.
  3. Investing in crisis risk management: this can be achieved by investing in prevention and building resilient systems that will adapt to and absorb shocks.
  4. Promoting context-specific approaches: in order to better understand the structural drivers of vulnerability and to adequately address them humanitarian, development and peace and state-building actors need to build a common understanding of risks, capacities and vulnerability in a specific context, to inform response, recovery and development plans.

Resilience tools for practitioners

The OECD developed the Resilience Systems Analysis (RSA) framework to help its members and their partners operationalise their commitments. Since 2014, the OECD has been supporting them on the systemic integration of the RSA into their strategy and programming.

Tools for resilience

The Resilience Systems Analysis (RSA) is designed to help DAC members and their partners effectively integrate risk and resilience into their strategies and programme planning. It places the understanding of risk, capacities and vulnerability at the centre of effective programming and emphasises the added value of programmatic approaches that are coherent, multidimensional, cross-sectoral and vertically integrated.

The RSA helps to bring together a broad range of political, humanitarian and development actors to support common risk-informed programming on the ground. It facilitates a collective and contextualised understanding of the impacts of risks and stressors on a system’s main assets. It also helps actors to focus on their comparative advantage – whether government, bilateral development co-operation partners, or other international, national and local agencies – to deliver better results.

Integration of resilience into strategy and programming

Between 2015 and 2016, the OECD and Sida piloted the RSA into Sida’s strategy and programming. The Learning and Recommendations report captures the value the RSA added in improving Sida’s analysis, strategy and programming. The report also provides an example of how systems analyses can be integrated into programming processes for other DAC members.

Support to Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members

The OECD supports members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to meet their commitments and to strengthen resilience in their strategy development and planning processes.


The RSA framework was piloted within seven country programmes, each at a different stage of the programme cycle (from strategy development to review to programme development), to support the integration of resilience into the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency’s (Sida) development strategy and programming. Learn more about the outcome of this collaboration through these country reports.


Countries report list (docTyped link)
flagpublishedtitle / linkanchor
Ethiopia_small 2016 Ethiopia ethiopia
Jordan_small Lebanon_small 2015

Jordan and Lebanon

Kenya_small 2016


Somalia_small 2015


south sudan_small 2016

South Sudan

Sudan_small 2016


Syrian Arab Republic_small 2015




The OECD and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted a cross-border risk analysis in the Sahel region to help operationalise France’s strategy for fragile situations. This analysis was framed by the five fragility dimensions (economic, environmental, political, security and social) outlined in the States of Fragility 2016 report.

Countries report list (docTyped link)
flagpublishedtitle / linkanchor

The Sahel region (in French)


Support to UN agencies, national and local governments, and other actors

The OECD supports DAC partners such as UN agencies (UNICEF, UNDP, WFP, OCHA and FAO) in addition to national and local governments and civil society.

United Nations Development Group for West and Central Africa

The OECD is working closely with the United Nations Development Group for West and Central Africa (UNDG-WCA) in the Sahel region. The OECD-UNDG WCA collaboration helps to develop common, robust, risk-informed analysis and planning to support response, recovery and development assistance frameworks (UNDAF) by supporting United Nations Country Teams (UNCT) and governments. Learn more about this collaboration from the guidelines. (Forthcoming)


Countries report list (docTyped link)
flagpublishedtitle / linkanchor
Central African Republic_small coming soon Central African Republic centralAfricanRepubliic
Mauritania_small   Mauritania  
    Liptako-Gourma Region  LiptakoGhourma

Other collaboration

Countries report list (docTyped link)
flagpublishedtitle / linkanchor
Democratic Republic of the Congo_small 2014 Democratic Republic of the Congo congo
Lebanon_small 2014


Mauritania_small 2017


Somalia_small 2015


south sudan_small 2016

South Sudan


Collaborative networks

The OECD’s work on risk and resilience includes sharing knowledge. Therefore, we participate in several mechanisms and groups that are working on risk analysis.

Financing for resilience in fragile and conflict-affected situations

The right financing, in the right place, at the right time is essential to strengthen resilience and to deliver our commitments to "leave no one behind" and to "reach the furthest behind first". The OECD supports its members and their partners on linking the right sort of financing to common, risk-informed analysis and encourages the sharing of good practices regarding financing preparedness and emerging innovations for more flexible and focused funding.