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Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development

The World Bank via Coursera

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Overview

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This course is based on the World Bank’s flagship report, the World Development Report 2014, Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development. In this course you can learn how risk management can be used to unlock development opportunities, and handle risks proactively.

The course synthesizes, in an easily accessible and interactive way, the Report’s main messages and policy recommendations, along with additional up-to-date research and experience related to risk management in the developing world. It will guide you, through expert videos, a game, and several animations, to identify critical gaps in risk management and to move from being a “crisis fighter” to becoming a proactive and systematic risk manager.

Syllabus

Week 1. Managing risk in a changing world
In the first week you will understand what effective risk management for development is; why it is important to both avoiding crises and making the most of opportunities; why contributions from different economic and social systems are needed and why the governments should play an important role in scaling-up these contributions. You will learn the basic terminology and concepts of the course.

Week 2. Digging deeper: What are the components of risk management? Why aren’t people better at managing risk?
In the second week you will explore the components of risk management (knowledge, insurance, protection, and coping), and the types of obstacles that often impair risk management and how they arise. You will become aware of the need to account for these obstacles when planning for risks, and of potential institutional solutions to overcome them.

Week 3. Who is responsible for managing risk? The importance of a holistic approach to risk management
In the third week you will learn about the complementary roles of key social and economic systems (households, communities, the enterprise sector, the financial system, the state and the international community) in fostering people’s resilience and prosperity. This week consists of four sub-modules. You can choose to concentrate on one module that interests you the most or you can expand your knowledge by making use of the materials provided for several or all modules.

    Module 3.1. Individuals and the risks they face: Protective households and cohesive communities
    In this module you will understand how households and communities can generally contribute to people’s risk management, which intrinsic characteristics could strengthen their contribution to risk management, and how the state can support their role.

    Module 3.2. How can the private sector contribute to risk management? A vibrant enterprise sector and an inclusive financial system
    In this module you will explore the strengths and limitations of two important systems that can help people confront risk – the enterprise sector and the financial system – and the policies that can improve each system’s contributions.

    Module 3.3. Risk at the national level: A stable and supportive macroeconomy
    In this module you will examine the enabling foundation that the macroeconomy provides for other economic activities, and the circumstances in which this function can be counterproductive. The module stresses the vital responsibility of the state in managing the macroeconomy through macroeconomic policies and the importance of generating sustainable resources for long-term development.

    Module 3.4. Beyond the nation-state: A strategic and proactive international community
    In this module you will analyze how the international community can help with risks that exhaust national capacity or cross national boundaries, identify circumstances in which the international community has successfully come together to manage important global risks, and examine how the international community can improve its contribution.

Week 4. Bringing it all together: Proactive, systematic and integrated risk management
In this last module you will review the key lessons from the previous modules and the policy principles for managing risk derived through the course. You will also consider the need for integrated risk management, including the possibility of a national risk board.

Click here to view an animated video outlining some of the MOOC's main ideas.

Connect

Communicate and share resources via Twitter using hashtag #wdrrisk. Sign up for a free account at http://twitter.com. If you use the tweet button on this, make sure to use the correct hashtag #wdrrisk.

Taught by

Anca Maria Podpiera, Norman Loayza, Kyla Wethli and Federica Ranghieri

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