Risk is an inevitable part of any programme operating in a conflict-affected setting. PVE is often perceived as being more ‘risky’ than other areas of programming due to the fact that it is a relatively new area of work. Working in such a politically charged arena can often mean that programmes that seek to address violent extremism can themselves be highly sensitive – with implications for UNDP’s ability to deliver, its reputation, and the safety and security of its staff, partners and beneficiaries.
Risk management is an ‘enabling process’. Rather than seeking to prevent programmes from being implemented, risk management is about understanding risk, working with acceptable levels of risk and knowing when and how to mitigate against risk where possible to avoid doing harm and to maximise the positive effects. Most importantly, it concerns identifying risks that may emerge as a result of the context; the programme; and/or the institution.
Risk management should be considered from the outset as part of the core approach to working in fragile and conflictaffected settings, rather than a separate element or project ‘add-on’.