Resilience is not new in the field of international development. But a number of recent events and trends — such as the 2008-09 financial, food and fuel crisis, and the protracted hunger crises in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel — have brought it to the forefront of development thinking.
As practitioners we are challenged to apply a more complex, forward-thinking systems approach to the problems faced by the communities where we work.
Working in some of the world’s toughest places, resilience has long been at the heart of Mercy Corps’ work. Our long-standing Vision for Change is a systems framework and recognizes the importance of engaging stakeholders at multiple levels of society in the development process.
We respond to humanitarian crises with an eye to the long term: our relief programs rapidly progress to recovery, helping families and communities build resilience so that they become less vulnerable to shocks and stresses. We design interventions which are community-led, market-driven and promote good governance, critical tenets of sustainable relief and development and key for resilience.
Peacebuilding and conflict management strategies feature in our strongest resilience programming (see our report from Ethiopia, From Conflict to Coping).
Our commitment to sound measurement and analysis of our programmatic impact means that we build into our work the tools and processes to highlight a set of metrics that helps us to understand progress towards achieving our mission. A focus on building resilience capacities is embedded in these metrics.
Finally, our commitment to work in fragile places and countries in transition means that we are working precisely in those places where resilience has the most potential because traditional systems are stressed to the breaking point.
All stories about Resilience
Why Urban Climate Change Resilience is Critical to Asia
Today, more than a half of the earth's population live in cities.
Is Market Systems Development Inherently a Resilience Approach?
Fueled by increasing uncertainty about the future as well as the need to protect development investments in the face of recurring crises, resilience has recently garnered much interest in the devel
Is Building Resilience Synonymous with Market Systems Development?
As a development approach, resilience seeks to build the capacity of a family or community to withstand shocks in a way that minimizes long-term developmental consequences.
Building Resilient Food Systems through Agroecological Principles and Practices
Improving smallholder agricultural productivity holds great potential to address poverty, improve household food security and build resilience.
Tools for Resilience: Agroecological Risk and Resilience Screening Tool
Applying a resilience lens to food system analysis and programming requires that we pay particular attention to understanding the ways shocks, stressors and even program interventions that impact o
Japan: Planning for Climate Disasters: 5 Considerations for Sendai
On an ordinary morning in January, 1995, the city of Kobe, Japan shook for less than a minute.
Myanmar: The Dry Zone of Myanmar: A Strategic Resilience Assessment of Farming Communities
Myanmar's Dry Zone covers just about 13% of the country, yet is home to 58 million people, nearly a third of its total population.
Philippines: Do Financial Services Build Disaster Resilience?
In the wake of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), Mercy Corps focused on speeding households' economy recovery. This study analyzes whether access to formal financial products increases resilience to natural disasters.
Kenya: Wealth and Warriors: Adolescents in the Face of Drought in Turkana, Kenya
What is life like for girls in traditional pastoralist communities? This study examines their daily responsibilities, social roles, and how they contribute towards household resilience in times of crisis.
DR Congo: Assessing the humanitarian response in North Kivu
Despite large-scale international assistance, the DRC province of North Kivu remains in chronic crisis. Mercy Corps & partners undertook a case study to find out why — and how we must change our programming to be more effective, impactful and sustainable.