Building Resilience

Resilience building, is a major part of adaptation as we see it today. For many who can’t simply leave, or don’t want to (for example, if their livelihood depends on a certain piece of land), then the best option is to take actions to anticipate and prepare for coming changes. Resilience building can include insurance, loans, infrastructure (either micro or macro level), crop changes, seed changes, and so on. It can be initiated from the ground up by communities, or from the top down, by governments. Sometimes it requires research, technological know how and large amounts of cash. It is broad, complex, and essential.

Building ResilienceThere is no one size fits all resilience building measure. Measures that work well in one city can fail in others due to the way in which people use the space in particular cities. Engagement with local people on what measures are most important them or can bring them the most benefit are essential.

In general, there are 2 types of resilience or adaptation measures,

  • Soft Measures – involving changes in the way communities, or individuals do things. This can mean new cropping patterns, farming techniques, house arrangements, or community organisation.
  • Hard Measures – Involving new infrastructure, like irrigation, roads, flood barriers, etc.

There is, of course, a large amount of cross over when it comes to development. Projects aimed at the very poorest won’t be accepted by those communities unless they provide some tangible and relevant benefit. So when we talk about resilience, we’re often also talking about development.

There is then, also some distinction between resilience building, and whats known as “transformational adaptation”, changing the way people are earning incomes or managing their livelihoods in such a way that it transforms their lives onto another path.



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