What it's about:
Measuring long-term resilience after disasters is a key development priority, as it reveals where resources should be targeted and whether interventions are providing good value for money.
But accurate measurements are lacking - and most knowledge of resilience is guided by one-off snapshots, rather than in-depth investigations, according to researchers at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
“Greater insights into the evolving nature of resilience are desperately needed,” they said in a report for the UK-backed Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme .
The researchers tracked the resilience of communities in eastern Myanmar after a period of extreme flooding. They carried out mobile phone surveys of 1,200 people and found it took over 10 months for households to recover from the disaster.
The project also revealed that the floods affected all social groups in the region, highlighting that resilience-building interventions must be targeted at the wider population not just the most vulnerable, the researchers noted.
Why it's noteworthy:
Development practitioners must view resilience as a state that is constantly in flux rather than static, the researchers said.
Tracking resilience over a longer period of time gives practitioners invaluable insights into the extensive impacts of natural disasters on communities, the report noted.
The project in Myanmar highlights the evolving nature of a community’s resilience after natural disasters, as the phone surveys revealed that resilience levels change considerably over time.
If practitioners are aware of these trends, they can target their resources and monitor the progress of resilience-building interventions more effectively, the study concluded.
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Overseas Development Institute