RISK III: From evidence to action

NGOS, Humanitarian Action, and Risk Management


Today, humanitarians around the world operate under increasing risk and uncertainty. From Afghanistan to Ukraine to Yemen and beyond, protracted crises, natural disasters, and growing politicization of aid pose significant dilemmas to humanitarian action, programming, and the timely delivery of life-saving aid. These operational challenges preceded the global Covid-19 pandemic, yet the strain on humanitarian systems has both exacerbated and created new dimensions of risk. How organizations perceive and manage this risk impacts where they work, with whom, and how.

RISK III is a partnership of InterAction and CDA Collaborative Learning funded by the US Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance and in conjunction with 11 leading international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) that are InterAction members.  


Breaking the risk management traps that limit humanitarian action

Over the past two years, CDA has partnered with InterAction to identify and understand risk management “traps” that limit organizations’ abilities to meet humanitarian needs and adapt to complex contexts, as well as the strategic changes that can break these traps. 

Risk III: From Evidence to Action defines strong risk management and the success factors of flexible and people-centered policy and practice. Risk is inevitable in humanitarian contexts. This work is a significant step to equip responsive and quality program delivery in some of the most challenging contexts.

Check out The Management 101 video to learn more about the basics of risk management in response settings. This resource is a tool that your HR teams can embed into staff onboarding processes or even a helpful primer for current staff and sparking discourse around risk management. The video deliberately avoids prescriptions. Instead, it introduces concepts, terms, and dilemmas that program teams often face when managing risk.

Watch this video in FrenchSpanishArabicBengaliBurmeseHausaBambaraPolish
UkrainianRussianDari, and Pashto.


Applying CDA Methods to Understand Humanitarian Risk

Risk III is a prime example of CDA’s collaborative learning, listening, and systems analysis approaches in action…together! Through Risk I and II, InterAction identified the most critical questions for humanitarian practitioners, then sought CDA’s partnership to design a way to learn with colleagues across the globe. With the help of 179 humanitarian practitioners from 39 countries and representing 52 international and local NGOs, these approaches helped Risk III create the most robust data set and analysis to date related to risk management in humanitarian response and operations.


Visit InterAction’s page on the Risk III project here

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Our People

Sharon Reader, Associate, Accountability Institutionalization and Capacity Strengthening

Sabina Carlson R
Sabina Carlson Robillard, Associate, Accountability and Humanitarian Aid
Sarah Cechvala

Sarah Cechvala, Senior Associate

Hasangani Edema, Program Coordinator

Ruth Rhoads Allen, President and Chief Collaboration Officer