Governance Managing Risk
Since it is impossible to work in international development without incurring some risk, Opportunity International Australia has implemented a formal risk identification and management process.
Since it is impossible to work in international development and poverty alleviation without incurring some risk, Opportunity International Australia has implemented a formal risk identification and management process.
The overall responsibility for reviewing and overseeing systems of internal control and risk management lies with the Board. In identifying areas of significant operational or strategic risk and putting in place arrangements to manage those risks, the Board relies on the advice and expertise of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Leadership Team.
Our Risk Management Policy provides a framework to ensure financial, operational and management systems support the identification and management of risks. These risks could challenge the achievement of Opportunity’s, or our partner organisations’, objectives. Opportunity carefully considers external country level risks – political, economic and social – as well as partner and project level risks before starting new work or continuing work in the countries we focus on. Some identified risks in development work include the difficulty for partner organisations to source capital, governance and leadership succession issues, challenges of geographical isolation or environmental instability, regulatory uncertainty and social and political instability.
Opportunity intentionally diversifies risk by supporting a wide range of partners, funding a mix of start-up and established program partners in both rural and urban areas. We understand that relationships and informal networks play an important part in the management of risk in all of the countries that we work. Wherever possible, we leverage experience in the market and long-standing relationships with the key players.
All identified risks are plotted on a risk matrix which assesses the likelihood and impact of each risk. As well as reviewing risks each month, the Leadership Team meets on a six-monthly basis to ensure that all key risks are being managed appropriately (with each risk assigned to a responsible person) as well as to identify any new risks. The top 10 risks, and their management plans, are monitored by the Audit and Risk Committee on a regular basis, and by the Board on an annual basis.
The Audit and Risk Committee also assesses internal controls within Opportunity and looks at relevant legislative and compliance requirements to ensure they are being managed. In addition to this, the Audit and Risk Committee reviews changes to operating environments, systems and personnel.
When donations are received, they are held in trust in an interest bearing Australian bank account until they are sent to our partners in the countries we work in. Opportunity does not invest donor funds in the share market or other high-risk investments.