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.
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.
Uganda: Navigating complexity: Adaptive management in the Northern Karamoja Growth, Health & Governance program
Development actors increasing agree that managing programs adaptively – especially complex interventions – can improve their effectiveness. But what does adaptive management look like in practice?
Mali, Niger, Nigeria: Rethinking resilience
Nowhere is answering the question of how to increase resilience more critical than across the Sahel, a region plagued by chronic poverty, food insecurity, drought, ecosystem degradation, and conflict. But among the many factors, one issue looms largest: gender inequality.
Myanmar: Visibility versus Vulnerability
The change taking place in Myanmar has brought new complexities that require an integrated analysis of how economic and political vulnerabilities are tied to instability.
Myanmar: Socio-Economic Analysis of Kayah State in Myanmar
In March - June 2013, a consortium involving Mercy Corps and four other INGO and NGO partners conducted a socio-economic analysis of Kayah State in Myanmar with funding from the European Union.
Mercy Corps Resilience Hubs
Mercy Corps has prioritized resilience at an agency level.
About the Resilience Learning Consortium
The concept of ‘resilience’ has gained traction, and donors, implementers, and other stakeholders have begun to invest more heavily in this approach.
Indonesia: Building 100 Resilient Cities
We know that the human and economic costs of disasters are most felt in urban centers, and these costs are only going to soar as cities grow and become more interconnected.
Africa Drylands Resilience Capacity Statement
Mercy Corps has been working on resilience-focused programming in Africa since 2004, with a current portfolio of over $200 million in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, and Sou