The team at Zilient is very excited and proud to announce the winners of our inaugural Resilience Awards.
The awards were established to shine a spotlight on unique and compelling resilience projects around the world that are making an impact on real lives.
We received more than 40 submissions highlighting resilience projects and resources across the globe, and our shortlist of 11 finalists inspired thousands of votes cast by you – the international community of resilience practitioners.
We are pleased to reveal that the winner of the 2017 Zilient Resilience Awards is Mercy Corps for its project 'Enhancing resilience to severe drought: What works?'
In 2015, the El Niño weather phenomenon exposed parts of Ethiopia to its worst drought in decades. At its height, over 10 million people were in need of food aid, costing over $1 billion dollars, according to the U.S.-based aid agency.
During this humanitarian crisis, Mercy Corps tested the impact of its resilience programming under the USAID-funded "Pastoralist Areas Resilience Improvement through Market Expansion" (PRIME) project. This evaluation was among the first to rigorously evaluate the effects of a resilience-focused approach in the face of a severe shock.
"In this ever-more risk-prone world, there is growing recognition that “success” is more than improving household income or food security—it is ensuring the endurance of these outcomes in the face of shocks," Christine Forster of Mercy Corps, told Zilient.
"This study demonstrates that investing in well-designed multi-sectoral, multi-year, adaptive programs does effectively build household resilience."
Forster said Mercy Corps was proud to contribute to the resilience conversation, and hoped its work would encourage new investment in rigorous research to further grow the limited evidence base around what works for resilience.
Congratulations to Mercy Corps!
In second place, you chose the Roads for Water project 'Creating Resilience Dividends with Road Water Management', which aims to increase the resilience of road corridors and communities.
Roads can guide and absorb water but also cause flooding, water-logging and landscape deterioration. Roads for Water analysed how roads were built and found multiple resilience benefits came from using roads for harvesting water in semi‐arid areas.
By making roads multi-purpose rather than just a means for transport, Roads for Water’s work showed it is possible to create roads that reduce damage to local landscapes, are likely to have lower maintenance costs, and can better withstand weather effects.
The Roads for Water programme in Ethiopia was successfully implemented at scale by government institutions and has since been replicated in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, the consortium of organisations told Zilient.
"This movement is very dynamic, and is unleashing enormous creativity in finding local solutions," said Luwieke Bosma, program officer at Roads for Water.
"Moreover it presents an alternative strategy to cope with climate change, systematically using road catchments to improve the micro-climate at landscape level. This will ensure that local areas are less affected by global change, plus it ensures better use of local resources to increase productivity and resilience."
In third place came The SPRING Project with a programme called 'From Pilot to Practice: Using community-led video to improve nutrition in the African Sahel', which has helped promote maternal, infant, and young child nutrition and hygiene in Niger and Burkina Faso.
SPRING worked with vulnerable populations in West Africa to create locally owned and operated video production "hubs" that created video messaging around peer-based nutrition and hygiene. The project was based on similar work undertaken in India that led to behaviour change and community engagement.
"SPRING is so grateful and humbled to be included among those recognised in this global contest," said Carolyn Hart, director of The SPRING Project.
“We hope that the visibility and recognition from our selection as a finalist and third place finisher will help the hubs promote themselves to achieve greater sustainability and strengthen the livelihoods of these local entrepreneurs, and the resilience and well-being of their extended families and neighbors.”
Hart said she hoped the award would validate and inspire international and local NGOs, and encourage the governments of Niger and Burkina Faso to support efforts that place community voices at the centre of the resilience conversation.
Zilient would also like to thank all of the runners-up for their excellent and thorough submissions.
- Gardens Rising, WE Design for their work encouraging participation with urban planning in community gardens in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City.
- Anukulan, IDE, which works with vulnerable farming households in Nepal using climate-smart technologies to build resilience to climate shocks.
- Le Parc Frédérick-Back, one of a dozen large-scale projects brought to fruition by the City of Montreal, in honour of Montréal's 375th anniversary, including transforming an old quarry and landfill site into a regenerated park and public green space.
2017 was a milestone year for resilience, when the holistic concept took centre-stage and was included in city, state, and international priorities and plans.
As we begin 2018, we are happy to be able to champion the individuals and organisations that have been instrumental in setting the resilience agenda - and we hope others are readying themselves for next year’s Resilience Awards!
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