Resilience and sustainable development: Insights from the drylands of eastern Africa

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Presented by Jonathan Davies, Lance W. Robinson and Polly J. Ericksen at the Third International Science and Policy Conference on the Resilience of Social and Ecological Systems, Montpellier, France, 4-8 May 2014

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Resilience and sustainable development: Insights from the drylands of eastern Africa

  1. 1. Resilience and Sustainable Development: insights from the Drylands of Eastern Africa Jonathan Davies, Lance W. Robinson and Polly J. Ericksen Resilience 2014 Montpellier May 2014
  2. 2. Main Points Resilience, as discussed in the development/DRR communities, is not and should not be thought of as the resilience of SESs. Development resilience, as operationalized by these communities, should be conceived of not only in terms of food security, but more broadly in terms of well-being.
  3. 3. Number Of People Adversely Affected By Droughts in the HoA
  4. 4. Definitions of Resilience Social-ecological resilience: "the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks" (Walker et al., 2004, p. 5). Resilience in relation to food security: “the ability of a household to keep with a certain level of well- being (i.e. being food secure) by withstanding shocks and stresses” (FAO, 2010).
  5. 5. Development Resilience In the face of recurring drought: • The DRR community focuses on maintaining well-being in the short-term, and • The development community focuses on interested in improving well-being in the longer term.
  6. 6. System Resilience: not necessarily desirable Traditional Pastoralism Perversely Resilient System: environmental degradation, loss of herds, sedenterization, poverty
  7. 7. System Resilience: not a normative concept Traditional Pastoralism Perversely Resilient System A New Option Needed?
  8. 8. Measurement of Development Resilience
  9. 9. Resilience Measurement: Three Main Types of Data We need measures of: • The state of human development (indicators of well-being, and their changes over time), • Shocks (measures of the extent and severity of shocks such as droughts), and • Broader social and ecological conditions (indicators of determinants of resilience).
  10. 10. Response of Well-Being To Drought Drought A B C D
  11. 11. Take Away Messages Resilience, as discussed in the development/DRR communities, is not and should not be thought of as the resilience of SESs. Development resilience, as operationalized by these communities, should be conceived of not primarily in terms of food security, but more broadly in terms of well-being.
  12. 12. Some final thoughts • Resilience thinking (system resilience) has much to offer. • Differentiating system resilience from development resilience will help to provide the data and insights to address questions around when system resilience is and is not desirable.
  13. 13. This work contributes to the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems. It is supported by the Technical Consortium (TC) for Ending Drought Emergencies and Building Resilience to Drought1 in the Horn of Africa. Acknowledgements
  14. 14. The presentation has a Creative Commons license. You are free to re-use or distribute this work, provided credit is given to ILRI. better lives through livestock ilri.org

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