Risk is defined as the event that could impact achieving of the goal. Deviation from the plan due to some unplanned circumstances may have both positive and negative consequences. Since positive results are always welcome, let’s focus on the negative. It is impossible to foresee all that can go wrong but having a plan B for at least some situations can be more than relieving in moments of crisis!
Making a risk analysis isn’t as terrifying as it sounds though! For starters, you need to go through all aspects of your youth exchange, from the logistic details to the agenda and think about the situations that could block the realization of your plan.
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Wondering what could go wrong? Well…
- What if you have planned many outside activities but these particular days turn out to be rainy? Will you prepare a back-up plan that includes activities adjusted to an inside workspace or will you reorganize the entire agenda?
- What if all activities are not adequate for some participants (e.g. some participants have strong emotional reactions -especially taking into consideration your reconciliation topic, or you have planned an exercise that implies physical activity but you also have a participant in a wheelchair)? Will you change the approach and modify the content in such a manner that it does not lose its point or will you totally skip that activity?
- Participants are always late for the first workshop: will you postpone them for 1 hour or shorten the breaks in order to make up for the lost time?
- There are often individuals who distract the group, either by getting into conflicts or by creating a negative atmosphere – imagine in our case with participants from conflict areas! Will you try to talk to them privately & find ways to integrate them back in the group or will you totally exclude them?
These are only a few examples of situations that you can encounter during realization of a youth exchange, but the list can also include unexpected problems related to transport, passports and visas, belated delivery of printed materials, financial issues etc. It is impossible to foresee everything (unless you share some medium skills – which by the way we would be more than interested in using, if you may!), however you can brainstorm a bit and prepare a back-up plan for these scenarios. To make it more concrete and manageable, use the template displayed on the next page as a guide through the process.