The Health and Nutrition Risk Pool Fund (a.k.a. Risk Pool Fund) is a pooled resource specifically targeted to prevent the derailment of otherwise fully-funded maternal and child health and nutrition projects in sub-Saharan Africa. The Risk Pool Fund is a collaborative experiment that makes fast, flexible funding available to pre-selected non-profits that are encountering an unexpected obstacle that threatens impact.
Why was it created?
The business of philanthropy is inherently risky. Even tried-and-true interventions can hit unexpected roadblocks during implementation. Yet, the philanthropic sector lacks mechanisms to support NGOs when projects face challenges, thus placing the onus of dealing with risk management squarely on grantees and the populations they serve. As a result, impact is often compromised or lost for a lack of relatively insignificant amounts of contingency funds.
The Risk Pool Fund was created to provide such grants in order to enable NGOs to address unforeseen, mid-implementation obstacles and non-routine problems that could put an otherwise fully-funded project at risk.
By distributing risk among a group of donors and implementers who share a common programmatic focus (in this case, maternal and child health and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa), the Risk Pool Fund aims to ensure impact for both the NGOs and the funders. Ultimately, this group hopes to create a replicable model for risk mitigation in development.