Strengthening climate resilience workshop notes


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Strengthening climate resilience workshop notes

  1. 1. Strengthening Climate Resilience Workshop Notes 9th-11th February, Institute of Development Studies Summary of Discussions The workshop began with a presentation by Ms. Maggie Ibrahim from the Institute of Development Studies who gave an overview of the current level of conceptual development of the Strengthening Climate Resilience project. A number of interesting points were raised during this, including one on an inherent contradiction in the resilience concept about whether it refers to the persistence of systems (or relations within it) or the complete transition of systems. It was also felt that the current ambiguity within the term ‘resilience’, leads a number of different concepts such as DRR, CCA, coping, vulnerability etc. to be subsumed within it. Therefore, there is a case to be made for thinking through the trade-offs that will need to be made between the advantages/disadvantages of these various ideas as they are included in (be it partially) and replaced by ‘resilience.’ Stemming partly from this point, it was felt that a general sense of ambiguity existed about whether ‘resilience’ was a property of a system acquired and expressed over the long term or whether it was simply the short term ‘bounce back-ability’ of a system after a perturbation. At the beginning of the session it seemed that ‘resilience’, due to its numerous interpretations, may not be a useful concept but by the end of the session it emerged that there was a certain degree of convergence on the participants’ conceptualisations of its characteristics. During the conceptual discussion of resilience, a participant contributed his own work where he analysed resilience in the context of coastal communities. Here it was seen as a sum of three parts-shock absorption, bounce back- ability and learning/ adaptation which correlates to a certain degree with the IDS understanding of resilience being composed of anticipation, preparation, response, learning and recovery in the context of changes in a system. The second session of the day began with a presentation by Ms. Susanne Jaspar of the Overseas Development Institute and by Dr. Tom Mitchell’s presentation on the ‘adaptive social protection’ concept who provided an overview work that aimed to understand the conceptual similarities between Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Social Protection and Livelihoods approaches and to see how these might contribute to resilience. Several strains of discussion stemmed from this presentation including one that underlined a paucity of examples of how the concept of climate change adaptation has been applied at scale. Another comment addressed the
  2. 2. point that while Social Protection carried the potential to be transformative sometimes it fails to reach the poorest of the poor. Another set of comments centred around the need for frameworks, one participant argued that there is a requirement for a framework such as the HFA for CCA too but another said that this already exists but is not employed due to its complexity. The need for any framework emerging from the workshop to contribute to the HFA was underlined. It was also felt that any such framework should be aimed to assist those implementing programmes at the field level. From this the discussion moved onto the conflict between process and outcome indicators. It was felt that outcome indicators would be much too context specific and difficult to develop and therefore it may be more valuable to concentrate on the process, two comments suggested that it may be possible to develop a mix of both process and outcome indicators. One more comment dealt with the need to develop indicators that were general as more than a rigid/binding roadmap, they are meant to guide people. A comment also dealt with a tension between characteristics and indicators as the former are more dynamic and the latter seem to be more static. Following Ms. Jaspars’ presentation was. The day ended with the division of participants into teams, each of which were asked develop indicators for a set of characteristics of resilient systems. On the second day, the teams displayed the results of their efforts to develop indicators. Overall, the workshop participants found it to be an extremely challenging exercise and while a number of difficulties were discussed, each team went onto to present their thoughts. Group 1 felt that developing indicators led to resilience becoming a more static concept and that it was difficult to develop generic indicators that would be applicable across specific contexts. They also underlined the importance of clear guidance accompanying any such framework which would help individuals to deduce timescales and governance scales that are most appropriate to them. The group tried to circumvent this problem in part by supplying a list of ‘interlocutors’ or institutions that would help define the scale at which specific resilience building interventions are undertaken. They also had two critiques of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and said that it fails to adequately address political issues and also fails to acknowledge that more of a particular capital is not always a positive attribute of a system. Group 2 began with defining resilience to be interchangeable with ‘bouncing back’ and decided to develop three sets of indicators-those based on risk management, vulnerability reduction and long term sustainable vision with the idea that an ideal resilience
  3. 3. building programme would work with all three indicators. In terms of trade-offs during the framework construction process, the group noticed that issues of politics and power get sidelined as they are complex and time consuming. The group also observed that adaptation needed to be ‘transformative’. Group 3 did not develop a set of indicators but instead presented a set of issues that needed to be resolved before this could happen, these included questions such as the difference between CCA and resilience, the correlation of indicators with scales of governance and whether mitigation was a part of approaches that aimed to build resilience. The third group also identified four principles of resilience which included access and entitlements, diversity and spreading of risk, flexible infrastructure and adaptive management, knowledge and adaptive capacity. Overall, in this session there was a discussion on the appropriateness of the asset based approaches for the task at hand and certain alternatives were listed these included approaches that were founded on temporal scales, stemmed from processes rather than assets and approaches where characteristics of resilience defined the interventions rather than the assets. After the groups made their presentations it was evident that the participants were dissatisfied with the approach taken for developing indicators as a means of operationalising the resilience concept and therefore, the discussion went ‘back to the basics’ to try and understand what it was that the framework was trying to achieve. The answers to this included the idea that the framework being developed at the workshop aimed to analyse whether CSDRM could promote resilience; decompose the concept of resilience into its constituent parts; understand how social protection and disaster risk reduction could promote resilience; to provide a standard of judging whether existing projects/interventions were promoting resilience and a means of identifying gaps in current practice. Overall, at the end of the day it was felt that tables based on indicators and characteristics were not the most useful instrument for achieving these aims and another idea based on a continuum of knowledge was discussed. On day 3 further discussions on alternative concepts continued and another framework template was developed (see table). The framework essentially appropriates concepts from the fields of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development to work towards a normative ideal of resilient communities.
  4. 4. While a certain amount of progress was made, field work is needed to work out whether it is useful as both a progamming and evaluation tool. The table also works with the assumption that those working with this framework will work across the three rows but further investigation is needed the optimal mix needed between these for effective programming. Normative Current Where we How to Barriers and situation want to get get opportunities to there 1. Addressing Safe housing unsafe conditions 2. Enhancing Experienced, adaptive capacity knowledgeable communities 3. Addressing and Inclusive, Tackling Drivers of equitable Poverty decision making Participant List Name Organisation External Experts Richard Ewbank Christian Aid Jack Campbell Department for International Development Marcus Oxley Global Network for Disaster Reduction John Twigg Independent Consultant Aditya V. Bahadur Institute of Development Studies Linsey Jones Overseas Development Institute Sara Pavanello Overseas Development Institute Susanne Jaspars Overseas Development Institute Catherine Pettengell Oxfam GB Jon Ensor Practical Action Silvi Llosa UN ISDR Emma Tompkins University of Leeds Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA)1 & Strengthening Climate Resilience (SCR)2 Members Christina Ruiz Christian Aid Maurice Onyango Christian Aid Sajjad Mohammad Sajid Christian Aid Katie Harries Institute of Development Studies Maggie Ibrahim Institute of Development Studies Tom Mitchell Institute of Development Studies Chris Anderson Oxfam GB Jo Lofthouse Oxfam GB Atiq Ahmed Plan International Kelly Hawrylyshyn Plan International
  5. 5. For further information please contact – Katie Harris, SCR Programme Manager - Institute of Development Studies Tel: +44 (0) 1273 915633