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Resilience: A primer - 2020 Resilience Conference Brief 8

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Recurrent humanitarian crises have led many development actors to begin thinking differently about development issues. Rather than placing humanitarian assistance, governance, food security and nutrition, economic development, and other topics in separate silos, many are using the concept of resilience to join up their myriad activities. Constas, Frankenberger, and Hoddinott wrote, “In a world where conventional approaches to dealing with humanitarian aid and development assistance have been questioned, resilience has captured the attention of many audiences because it provides a new perspective on how to effectively plan for and analyze the effects of shocks and stressors that threaten the well-being of vulnerable populations.” Despite the promise and hype of resilience, or perhaps because of it, a backlash has already begun. Does it really add new and useful understanding to development theory and practice, or is it merely more development jargon? This brief addresses this concern through an overview of what resilience means and how it is conceptualized before discussing implications for measurement and for policy.

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