A handbook for building resilience

Susan Upton
February 9th, 2012

Promoting resilience is a growing area of interest in development. The UK Government’s Humanitarian Policy ‘Saving Lives, Preventing Suffering and Building Resilience’, puts resilience at the heart of their approach. Building on this, DFID have committed to embedding resilience building in all of its country programmes by 2015 and integrating resilience into all of their work on climate change and conflict prevention.  

So what is resilience?

Practical Action sees resilience as the ability of a system, community or society to resist, absorb, cope with and recover from shocks and stresses. A resilient community is one in which people can manage risk and recover from shocks such as floods, droughts and violent conflict. It also means people have the ability to adapt to long term trends such as climate change in a timely and efficient manner without undermining their wellbeing.

So how do we achieve resilience?

How to operationalise concepts of resilience is a challenge for many organisations. Practical Action has developed an approach called From Vulnerability to Resilience (V2R). This is a framework that analyses the causes of vulnerability and how disaster risk reduction, climate change impacts, governance and livelihoods interact and affect resilient outcomes.

The handbook

This new handbook is aimed at practitioners who seek examples of how the V2R framework can be used in practice, based on examples from Nepal. It offers a step process, workbooks and tools.  It includes guidance on how to include long-term trends in programming with a focus on climate change.  

It is essential that organisations working on poverty reduction take into account the impact of climate change on the communities and sectors where they are working. In so doing, they will be better able to support community members and government officials to adapt to the adverse effects and take advantage of any opportunities presented. This requires a detailed analysis of the impacts of climate change at the local level in order to build adaptive capacity to withstand both sudden shocks and incremental changes in the climate. Participatory tools have been updated for use of uncovering community perceptions of changes, alongside identifying historical climate data.

Download it here.

One Response to “A handbook for building resilience”

  1. Luigi Says:

    I think resilience and hapnepiss are two separate entities. Resilience is survival under any circumstance and having the skills & ability to do that well and with a positive outcome. I think hapnepiss is a state of mind based on a person’s view of their life and relationships (relationship to others and to the world/universe). Happiness can also be based on the outcomes of what resilience has brought to your life. However, some people are happy with living in chaos and never escaping a life situation others would consider a failure.

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