R for Resilience

Resilience: Ability of a community, to resist, absorb, cope with and recover from the effects of hazards and stresses in a timely and efficient way (Pasteur 2011).



After being affected by significant hazard events, or by longer-term negative trends, people should be able to recover or adapt their livelihoods and continue to improve their lives and move out of poverty (Pasteur 2011). Being bettered prepared for hazards and stresses can significantly reduce their vulnerability.  With the improvement of their understanding of long-term trends, people can draw on their available resources in appropriate ways in order to adapt to such changes over time. By creating a more enabling governance environment, people will be able to be part of the decision-making, service provision, and resource allocation (Maggie Ibrahim 2010).

This is the aim of the V2R – From Vulnerability to Resilience-, which is an integrated approach and framework whose aim is to move people permanently out of poverty, by strengthening livelihoods, disaster preparedness, building adaptive capacity and addressing different areas of the governance environment (Pasteur 2011).

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Components of the V2R

Understanding livelihoods does not just mean looking at people’s main sources of employment or income, but looking at all the different activities and choices within the household and community which provide food, health, income, shelter and other tangible benefits, such as comfort, safety, respect and fulfilment. Building livelihood resilience means improving the diversity and security of people’s livelihoods so that people have more options available to them. This includes strengthening community organisations and forging links with service providers to build capacity and voice, and support access to assets, skills, technologies and markets for enhanced production, income and security. It also involves supporting access to and management of natural resources and ensuring secure living conditions.

Hazards and Stresses
It consists in looking in detail at hazards and stresses but takes care to understand how and why people and their livelihood are exposed to and affected by such events. Poor people are often more exposed to hazards and stresses, due to a lack of knowledge or lack of choice for example, they are forced to live on steep slopes or in flood prone areas because they cannot afford to live elsewhere.

Governance embraces a whole range of public and private, formal and informal organisations, policies, and processes, operating   on local, national and international levels. It is vital in building resilience because it determines how people can access resources, skills, technologies and markets to strengthen and diversify their livelihoods, how they protect themselves from hazards, and how they access support to help them recover when they are affected.

Future Uncertainty
Adaptive capacity refers to the combination of skills, assets, networks and institutions and policies that enable communities to continually assess their own situations against the current and emerging context and make appropriate changes to their lives and livelihoods. Communities should learn to expand their knowledge and access to information if they are to understand the challenges of an uncertain future and develop responses to the emerging impacts of climate (and other trends such as urbanisation, increased food prices, fluctuating financial markets).



Further readings


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