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.
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
Learn more about Resilience Design in Smallholder Farming Systems Approach here ▸
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 nearly a third of its total population of 52 million.
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.