At its thirty-first session, in March 2016, HLCP considered a discussion paper on the topic of risk, prevention and resilience presented by the World Food Programme (WFP) and requested further exploration of those analytical concepts, their interlinkages and their potential application across different United Nations pillars. At the thirty-second session, WFP introduced a paper entitled “Risk, prevention and resilience: exploring the conceptual linkages” which offered definitions for and examined relations among the concepts, which had largely developed independently in different contexts and thus tended to lack consistent understanding. At the thirty-third session in 2017, the Committee considered progress to-date on the basis of a paper prepared by the HLCP Task Team on Risk and Resilience.
The paper outlined three proposed elements of a future approach to engage and manage crises: using systems thinking to better understand complex interlinkages and identify the key “pressure points” within the development system of a country; applying the risk and resilience equation to promote coherence among the efforts across pillars at these pressure points; and taking a prevention lens to ensure a proactive approach to preventing threats and avoiding future crisis. The Committee expressed appreciation for the work done so far and concurred broadly with the direction taken and next steps proposed by the Task Team. The Committee noted that since risks are context -specific, the true test for the proposed approach was in its application to a real -life situation. Members, thus, welcomed that the conceptual aspects of this work was nearing its finalization and expressed support for the proposal to “pilot apply” this approach, either proactively to “frontier issues” or in a lesson -learning mode to specific operational contexts.
The Committee confirmed its support for the risk and resilience approach and requested that the Task Team, under WFP’s continued leadership, take into consideration the Committee’s feedback and submit its final and concluding work to HLCP at its 34th session. The Committee also requested the Task Team to pilot the approach by applying it to a few specific contexts (including to “frontier issues” identified by HLCP at the current session) in order to demonstrate its practical applicability.