“Resilience is defined as "The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties", and so is quite separate from mitigation. Our experience responding to over 80 disasters over the past dozen years has allowed us to develop a responsive force of experienced individuals who can provide comfort, expertise, energy, and primarily...Hope, to communities affected by natural disasters. In situations like the 2015 Nepal earthquake, when 8,000 schools were destroyed, it seems clear that external resources, including experience in building new schools with earthquake-proof designs and construction techniques, is essential...in addition to the funding that will allow replacement as soon as possible, to start the community on a road forward. To me, resilience includes the enthusiastic embrace of experienced and organized resources, such as the 200+ volunteers we have working in Nepal today, more than two years after that event, as well as similar current
projects in Peru, and Louisiana.”
“Resilience to me is about people, communities and systems being able to anticipate, prepare for, and withstand different shocks and stresses; it is not just about surviving such events but finding ways to thrive in spite of it. In my work, I strive to fully understand the different and often complex reasons behind why people, communities or systems are not resilient (or not resilient enough). This involves talking to a lot of people: government officials, corporate leaders, specialists and academic experts, and most importantly, individuals and communities who are most vulnerable to adverse impacts of shocks and stresses. As a campaigner, I want to know who has the power and influence to make people, communities or systems more resilient, how we can reach them and motivate them to act, and how to make sure that change benefits those who need it the most. ”
“Resilience is the ability to rebound and learn from life events that challenge your mind, body and soul. In the case of organizations, resilience is the ability to learn and grow from situations that challenge your institution's ability to achieve its mission. The principles I use to guide my personal and professional resilience include: self-reflection, accountability, understanding, creativity, and the willingness to change.”
“My work focuses on socio-cultural issues, such as religion and gender, to understand how they hamper or facilitate resilience. Religious belief and gender norms can influence how people behave, or what sort of jobs people have, and thereby how sensitive or exposed they are to natural hazards and climate change. This is because behaviour and employment determine, for example, whether you have to work in a location that is exposed to frequent storms, or decide to travel on a road with high landslide risk. They may also determine whether you carry out tasks that make you more sensitive to climate change or natural hazards, due to your gender, or because they are part of your religious duties. My goal is to identify how to use beliefs and gender norms in a positive way to encourage resilience, without suggesting that certain socio-cultural values are superior to others.”
“Resilience to me is not only a status that reflects a person or household’s ability to anticipate, respond, and bounce back from stressors and shocks, but it’s also an attitude, state of mind—it requires grit. Resilience is when one’s health, economy, and social networks can work together in harmony to ensure survival, but more importantly, it’s a foundation upon which a person can thrive. Grameen Foundation, for decades, has leveraged a financial services platform (savings, insurance, credit, payments) to integrate other crucial services, such as agricultural support, nutrition and health services, and new digital technologies to ensure vulnerable families—and particularly women and children—have information and support when and where they need it. We believe a comprehensive approach is necessary for building household resilience and reducing poverty.”
“Ideally, as you become more adept at managing disruption and skilled at resilience building, you are able to create and take advantage of new opportunities in good times and bad. That is the resilience dividend.”Read more
What does resilience mean to you?
By teaming up, communities, cities, businesses and other organizations are better able to tackle the wicked problems of the 21st century
Most climate resilience measurement tools are still in their infancy but investors and others in the development community can start to develop insights
* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of the partner organisations producing zilient.org.