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I. Overview of the Training Programme

The world is getting more interconnected and interdependent. This creates increasing uncertainties for development interventions. Such uncertainties can either be turned into opportunities or may become obstacles or challenges on the path to development goals. Risk management deals with the uncertainties inherent to any development intervention. By identifying and analysing these uncertainties, development actors will be better placed to make informed decisions and will deliver better results on the ground

This objective of the training programme is to equip participants with skills and knowledge that will enable you to embrace uncertainties, recognize the emerging patterns of change, and successfully deliver developmental results.

During the training you will learn:

  • The difference between uncertainties and risks
  • How to identify and assess risks
  • How to use risk management to design and implement strategies
  • How to use risk management to increase effectiveness and efficiency of projects and programmes
  • How to use risk management to enhance transparency and improve communication among development partners
  • How to increase risk awareness within an organization and take accounts of the human factor in effective risk management
  • How to apply concrete tools to identify, asses and respond to risks in your daily practice.

II. Agenda

December 7th, 5pm:   A  Dutch-style welcome reception.

December 8th:

Risk management and development practice

  • Introduction to Risk Management for Sustainable Development

This session introduces the concepts of ‘risk’ and ‘uncertainty’ and discusses the difference between a threat-focus mentality and an opportunity management perspective in development practice.

  • Scenarios and Scenario Based Strategies

Introduction of the ‘concept of futures’ and how anticipation of the future can inform development practices. Paul de Ruijter (the Netherlands), a leading expert in the field, will introduce scenario planning. Participants will discover how scenario planning can be used to help development actors strategize ways of responding to imminent social and economic challenges in the developing world today.

December 9th:

Risk Management: theory and practice

  • Understanding the Risk Management Concept

This session will introduce the concept of risk management based on the ISO 31000 guidance standard. Participants will learn and practice how to apply an integrated risk management framework in their own projects and programmes. The latest trends in risk management for development in leading international organizations will be discussed.

Participants will learn the difference between various types of risks. You will get concrete tools to identify and assess risks, as well as define risk response measures at various levels.

  • Integrated risk management: National Risk Assessment in the Netherlands

Dr. Marcel Mennen, National Institute of Public Health and Environment, Centre for Environmental Safety, the Netherlands, will present a practical case of national risks assesment in the Netherlands.

December 10th:

Mainstreaming Risk Management in Development Initiatives

  • Governance and Complexity

Dr. Martijn van der Steen, deputy dean and deputy director of The Netherlands School of Public Administration, will introduce the challenges and opportunities for effectivbe governance in the context of development cooperation.

  • Risk Management in Development Interventions

How risk management can be mainstreamed in development interventions: at the design phase; at the implementation phase; and at the exit stage.

  • Group work

Participants will be divided into small learning groups. In the group you design a integrated risk management framework based on a project, programme, or strategy taken from your area. Each group will present the results.

December 11th:

Mainstreaming Risk Management: Group work

  • Human factor in risk management

The presentation will demonstrate how the risk perception and risk tolerance can impact decision-making and how risk management culture can support delivering developments results.

  • Presentation of Group work and discussion
  • A guided tour in The Peace Palace, in The Hague.

 III. Speakers

Magda Stepanyan, MA, MSc, CIRM,

She holds MA in Sociology (Yerevan State University), MSc in Public Administration (Leiden University), and The International Certificate in Risk Management from The Institute of Risk Management (UK). She is the Founder & CEO of the Risk Society consultancy (www.risk-society.com). Her main areas of expertise include integrated risk management, disaster and climate risk governance, capacity development, civil protection, recovery planning, and M&E. She has more than 15 years management and consultancy experience, working with organizations such as the EC, UN, WB, Red Cross, and many others. She is a priority expert of the UNDP BCPR Expert Roster and the member of the OSCE consultancy roster.

She authored UNDP Technical Paper on Risk Management for Capacity Development Facilities: click here for the paper


Paul de Ruijter

He holds MSc in Management Engineering from the Twente University (The Netherlands). He is the director of De Ruijter Strategy (http://www.deruijter.net ), a specialist Scenario Planning and Strategy consultancy, with almost a quarter of a century of experience in the field. In recent years he has worked as 
a designer of and consultant for scenario and strategy projects for various organisations such as Rabobank, IHC Merwede, BAM, the International Energy Agency, the World Council for Sustainable Development, and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Paul is the author of ‘Scenario Based Strategy. Navigate the Future’, a handbook on scenario planning in theory and practice. Paul teaches at the University of Amsterdam, at Nyenrode Business University and at Delft TopTech and is in demand as a speaker at international congresses and seminars.


Marcel Mennen, PHD,

Marcel Mennen holds MSc in Physical Chemistry at Leiden University and obtained a PhD in Physical Science and Mathematics. He is a senior scientist at the National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM). His expertise covers a broad range of areas varying from air quality, health and environment science, environmental disasters and CBRN risks and threats to the broad scope of national safety and security. He has written a number of scientific publications in these areas. He was head of the chemical emergency response unit of RIVM for almost ten years. Since 2010, he is the general secretary of the Dutch National Network of Safety and Security Analysts (ANV). This network produces the yearly National Risk Assessment of the Netherlands, in which risks, threats and hazards are assessed using an all-hazard uniform methodology.


Dr. M. Martijn van der Steen, Netherlands School for Public Administration (NSOB)

Dr. M. Martijn van der Steen joined the NSOB in 2002 and is deputy dean and deputy director of NSOB and director of its think tank. Martijn studied public administration and history at Erasmus University Rotterdam and was trained as a management consultant at Dutch firm Twijnstra Gudde. His research interests include network management, the use of forecasting and scenarios in policy-making, and the relationship between the media and government. Martijn received a PhD from Tilburg University for a study on the use narratives in the political debate about ageing. He contributes to several of the School’s research projects with a focus on strategic management and the role networks can play in the provision of public services. He also is dean of the Master Class Regulation and Compliance, the Master Class in Policy Analysis and dean of a tailor-made-in-house program for the municipality of Amsterdam.


Practical Information

Language of Training



Participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

Who is it for

Development practitioners from both developing and developed countries. We expect participants to come from NGOs, think-tanks, Inter-governmental organisations, research institutions, foundations, charities and the public sector.
The training can also be useful for those who want to better understand new trends in the field of sustainable development and learn how to deliver development results under uncertainties.


December 8th-11th, 2014


The Hague, The Netherlands


€1995 (ex. VAT)
The course fee includes coffee, tea and lunch on all days as well as a welcome reception on the first day. It also includes 2-hour remote coaching to be requested within six month after completion of the course. A range of discounts is also available: participants from developing countries are entitled to €500 discount per person; a 10% early bird registration applies to bookings made before 1 October, and there is a 30% colleague discount for each additional participant from the same organization.

Cancellation policy

Participants may cancel up to 14 days before the start date. No refunds will be made thereafter.


Number of seats is limited to 25!


The organisers will help participants find accommodation in the close vicinity of the training venue.

For inquiries and registration please contact

Magda Stepanyan

Tel: +31 (0) 616499150

or fill in our contact form.