Added Value of Resilience Programming to the Ongoing 2017 Drought Response - February 2017
Concern Worldwide’s DFID-funded Building Resilient Communities in Somalia (BRCiS) Programme utilizes a multifaceted approach to strengthening local capacity to identify, prepare for, and respond to shocks, including: long-term adjustments in agricultural practices, resource restoration, income diversification, resource governance committees, and household habits, among many other strategies. Somali communities are resilient and, through invested programming, communities have increased resilience. Most are equipped to cope and rebuild after one shock: a flooding season, or a poor Gu (Apr-Jun) or Deyr (OctNov) rainy season. However, they are less equipped to overcome two or more subsequent shocks. Two consecutive weak rainy seasons, coupled with markets and services restricted by conflict, were atop the headline drivers of the 2011 famine. In January 2017, FEWSNET reported that following a poor Gu season and failed Deyr season, food security had deteriorated significantly. The report projected that by June one out of every two people in Somalia would face food insecurity and almost a quarter of the population would be in Crises (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Should the forthcoming 2017 Gu rains fail and markets struggle to cope, a famine (IPC Phase 5) would be expected (i). The report was confirmed in greater detail in February with the release of the FSNAU Post-Deyr Technical Report (ii). Because the escalating situation was expected to be beyond most communities’ resilience capacity, the BRCiS program provided significant value to analysis, mitigation and early response efforts and continues to respond in the now emergency context.
This case study is comprised of seven sections that examine how Concern Worldwide’s BRCiS Programme utilized early warning seasonal data in June and November 2016 to identify Red Flags for the now realized drought crisis and trigger a series of early responses, months prior to conventional humanitarian actions. Cost-effective mitigating actions included fodder production, pre-emptive cash safety net distributions and emergency responses to localized non-climatic shocks. Meanwhile, the preposition of resilience programme staff enabled valuable leadership to humanitarian stakeholders through coordination fora in the forms of analysis, early action awareness and external advocacy.
And finally, initial impacts of Concern Worldwide’s (Concern) resilience work will be discussed through a case-study highlighting a village’s new-found capacity to avoid displacement, and instead find themselves becoming hosts for displaced people from neighbouring villages. This trend is widely being noted throughout Concern’s BRCiS programme target villages. Currently, the BRCiS programme continues to respond to the emergency with both flexible resilience and emergency funding. This case study will be updated later in the year to further tell the story of the Concern BRCiS Programme