With the support of USAID, Mercy Corps and our partners conducted a Strategic Resilience Assessment in Karamoja, Uganda to identify which groups are most vulnerable to shocks and stresses, and the resilience capacities people need to learn and adapt.
Mercy Corps works in places characterized by fragility and crisis, where the impacts of shocks and stresses threaten people’s ability to get ahead. Through shared analysis, learning and action, our Resilience Approach helps communities identify and address underlying vulnerabilities, minimize exposure to risks and strengthen resilience capacities to achieve positive, inclusive change.
Resilience thinking deepens our collective understanding of complex and dynamic systems and the people who rely on them. To help navigate the uncertainty and unpredictability inherent in these systems, we regularly revisit a set of guiding resilience questions (illustrated above in yellow):
- What boundaries and systems shape a community’s development?
- What goals do communities have for their future?
- What shocks and stresses threaten these goals?
- Which groups are most vulnerable to these threats, and why?
- What capacities will help people cope with and adapt to these threats, and transform their future?
As illustrated in Figure 1, answering these questions enables our teams and partners to design resilient development strategies that adapt as contexts shift, helping us learn how to support vulnerable rural and urban communities in achieving their long-term goals.
Because we recognize that an effective approach to resilience must take into account differences due to gender and identity, we have invested in research and toolkits to better understand and apply important principles around the intersection of gender, inclusion, and resilience.
Our Strategic Resilience Assessment (STRESS)
Mercy Corps developed the Strategic Resilience Assessment (STRESS) methodology (pictured above in blue) to help practitioners use resilience thinking to prevent instability from derailing communities’ progress toward humanitarian and development objectives. STRESS enables teams to analyze their contexts and develop resilience theories of change, which allow teams to create more robust strategies and targeted interventions that support communities in achieving long-term well-being outcomes and transformational change.
Driving Resilience: Market Approaches to Disaster Recovery
After a disaster, the immediate concern of all humanitarian responders is—and should be—to help affected populations meet their basic, urgent needs. But how a response is conducted can have significant implications on how the community recovers—and how fast.
Nigeria: Resilience and Conflict in Nigeria: Analysis of dynamics and programming leverage points
What household and community characteristics are important sources of resilience when households deal with conflict and other shocks in fragile contexts?
Indonesia: The Use of Financial Products in Mitigating Natural Disaster Risk
This study examines levels of actual and perceived vulnerability to natural disasters, how this links to the demand for and use of financial products for coping and recovery and offers useful recommendations for practitioners, donors and policy makers.
Mongolia: Strategic Resilience Assessment in Mongolia
Mercy Corps applied the Strategic Resilience Assessment process (STRESS), focusing on Mongolia’s herding communities and rapidly urbanizing areas with the goal of developing a long-term strategy for supporting sustained, inclusive growth in Mongolia using a resilience approach.
Nigeria: Tipsheet: Savings Groups in Humanitarian Response
Mercy Corps diverged from a traditional savings group model to accommodate the emergency nature of the Nigeria programming.
Niger: Video: Resilience in Niger: Transforming the Way We Learn and Work
Ethiopia: Enhancing Resilience to Severe Drought: What Works?
This unique impact evaluation is among the first to rigorously evaluate the effects of a resilience-focused project in the face of a severe shock.
India: Transforming Chennai: Building micro, small and medium enterprise resilience to water-related environmental change
Mercy Corps partnered with Okapi Research & Advisory to develop a deeper understanding of the factors that affected firms’ flood exposure, extent of immediate losses, and recovery times.
Uganda: Building an Empowered Karamoja: STRESS
Mercy Corps and their partners deepened their understanding of vulnerability and resilience in Karamoja and identified a set of resilience capacities.
Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines: Urban Resilience Measurement
Mercy Corps recently developed a training curriculum and approach guide on urban resilience measurement.