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Wednesday
Feb122014

Understanding Community Perceptions of Resilience: Discussions With Communities From CRS Disaster Risk Reduction Projects

Understanding Community Perceptions of Resilience: Discussions With Communities From CRS Disaster Risk Reduction Projects   

What does resilience mean to vulnerable communities? This question is crucial when designing initiatives to promote disaster risk reduction and resilience.

Catholic Relief Services recently interviewed vulnerable people from 12 communities in Asia and Latin America about what makes communities resilient. This study offers recommendations and lessons learned about what types of programs are most effective in promoting resilience.

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Questions about resilience

The purpose of the study was to deepen CRS’ understanding of the following questions:

  1. Which project activities and practices have contributed most significantly to strengthening resilience, according to communities, and which have not?
  2. Have the communities continued to engage in project-promoted activities after the projects ended? Why or why not?
  3. What project activities did communities abandon after a project ended? Why did they abandon them?
  4. How did local government representatives perceive the resilience of the community after a project ended?

Key findings

Key findings at a glanceClick to view the infographic (PDF, 152 KB)
  1. Communities’ increased ability to (1) understand their vulnerabilities and (2) better utilize their capacities to mitigate, prepare for and respond to disasters was very important to them.
  2. Community organization was considered very important because of its contribution to increased resilience.
  3. It was significant when a government recognized a community’s work in disaster risk reduction. Community disaster-management task forces and committees felt validated during disaster responses that occurred subsequent to a project.
  4. Capacity strengthening was well-regarded as an important project activity to reduce risks to disasters.
  5. Disaster preparedness and response planning, especially in areas where rapid-onset disasters are frequent, were ranked as very important.
  6. Preparedness measures such as early warning systems, protection of assets, and strengthening of livelihoods before disasters and in recovery efforts, were seen as vital disaster risk reduction measures.
  7. Linking community risk-reduction plans and activities with local government actors and their plans contributed to sustained action after the project.
  8. Inputs that required funding beyond the capabilities of the communities—such as those for the construction of weather‑resilient housing and raised-hand pumps—were ranked as essential, but as activities that would not likely continue after a project had ended due to people’s inability to access funding or materials.
  9. Activities that are out of the norm of community behavior—such as storing fodder on raised platforms rather than on elevated areas of land—were not successful.
  10. Several government representatives said that it was very difficult for them to visit all of the communities, as they did not have the resources or the transport to provide support for disaster risk reduction.

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Contents

Executive Summary 2
Review Background 4
Methodology 8
Findings 12
Lessons CRS Can Learn From R3 Projects 23

Annex A: Details of Projects

24
Annex B: Field Facilitation Guidance 28

 

Related resources

Building Resilience: A Guide to Facilitating Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction in the Horn of Africa
 
  

Building Resilience

A Guide to Facilitating Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction in the Horn of Africa

The Road to Resilience: Case Studies on Building Resilience in the Horn of Africa
 
  

The Road to Resilience

Case Studies on Building Resilience in the Horn of Africa

Toward Resilience: A Guide to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
 
  

Toward Resilience

A Guide to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation

Community Based Disaster Preparedness: A How-To Guide
 
  

Community Based Disaster Preparedness

A How-To Guide


Publication details

Authors: Amy Hilleboe and Clara Hagens
Publisher: Catholic Relief Services (February 2014)
Study: 32 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches

Updated on February 20, 2014


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