Cross-Cutting

Reducing Risk & Improving Resilience

Abt Associates has developed a “risk and resilience” framework to help government, foundation, and non-profit clients identify more effective and efficient policy solutions for managing risk.  Abt has a wide range of projects underway to help clients reduce the risks faced by vulnerable individuals, households, and communities, including risks related to climate change, health, and household finance. Other Abt-led projects focus on strengthening the resilience of households, communities, and regions to withstand risks when the risks are unavoidable.

Although the concepts of risk and resilience are closely linked, they refer to sets of actions put in place and activated at different points in time. Risk reduction focuses on reducing the probability of an adverse event, such as losing one’s job. This risk can be reduced by, for example, ensuring that workers have access to reliable transportation. Similarly, the risk of severe climate change can be lowered by reducing energy use and shifting to cleaner energy sources.

Building resilience, by contrast, focuses on strengthening the capacity of individuals, households, communities and regions to reduce the impact associated with an adverse event, such as loss of income from losing one’s job or falling ill. The adverse impacts can be reduced by helping people build household savings and by the government providing unemployment insurance, or by making affordable health insurance available. In the environmental space, efforts to improve the disaster-resistance of buildings and water and sewer systems similarly help to reduce the likelihood that periodic shocks will have adverse effects.

Abt is applying efforts to reduce risks and build resilience in fields as varied as climate change, preventative medical treatment, career pathways, homelessness prevention, protection against chemical products, disaster mitigation and prevention, health, and household financial asset-building.

Abt projects which support clients in reducing risk and building resilience include:  
Learn more about risk and resilience at Abt:
Watch a series of videos with examples of how risk and resilience applies to our work: