Risk management is a process familiar to most organisations. The way in which risk is assessed and dealt with, however, varies depending on the type of work and actors involved. International development requires a unique approach to risk management due to the complex contexts in countries with high levels of poverty and inequality, weak state institutions and weak legal systems. This is particularly true for legal pro bono work that aims to strengthen the rule of law in these settings.
A4ID’s ROLE UK Programme is committed to ensuring that the work it supports has proper risk management strategies in place. Comprehensive risk management strategies are necessary, not only to increase the likelihood of successful project delivery, but to reduce the chance of harm to stakeholders working on the project and potential negative side-effects on society and the environment.
This guide aims to equip pro bono providers with an overall understanding of risk and why it is important in international development projects. It will also provide simple tips and tools for mitigating risks, which, in turn, will enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of their work. This guide is not aimed at turning legal pro bono providers into risk management experts, and will therefore not provide an all-encompassing detailed guidance to risk management. It will, however, serve as an introductory document to key risk concepts, allowing legal experts to tweak their approaches in order to become better at identifying and managing risk, whilst still staying true to the aims and objectives of their rule of law project. Information about further risk management resources is available at the end of the guide for those interested in gaining a more in-depth understanding of the topic.