In 2014, the annual World Development Report will focus on risk management and its importance for development.
Norman Loayza, Director, 2014 World Development Report, World Bank, will give a McGill audience an exclusive Canadian presentation on this year's report.
The past 25 years have witnessed unprecedented changes around the world—many of them for the better. As the world changes, a host of opportunities arise constantly. With them, however, appear old and new risks, from the possibility of job loss, crime, and disease to the potential for financial turbulence, social unrest, and environmental damage. Managing risks responsibly and effectively can save lives, avert economic damages, prevent development setbacks, and unleash opportunities. Risk management can therefore be a powerful instrument for development.
World Development Report 2014 emphasizes
- Taking on risks is necessary to pursue opportunities for development. The risk of inaction may well be the worst option of all.
- To confront risk successfully, it is essential to shift from unplanned and ad hoc responses when crises occur to proactive, systematic, and integrated risk management.
- Identifying risks is not enough: the trade-offs and obstacles to risk management must also be identified, prioritized, and addressed through private and public action.
- For risks beyond the means of individuals to handle alone, risk management requires shared action and responsibility at different levels of society, from the household to the international community.
- Governments have a critical role in managing systemic risks, providing an enabling environment for shared action and responsibility, and channeling direct support to vulnerable people.
The World Development Report 2014 synthesizes research related to risk management in the developing world into an easily accessible and well-referenced source. Recognizing that risk is inherent in the development process, it builds on extensive data, research, and country experience to address how individuals, institutions, and countries can stop being "crisis fighters" and become "proactive and systematic risk managers".