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Risk and Resilience

A new approach to eradicating extreme poverty

The world has made great advances in reducing poverty over the past few decades, but it is becoming more difficult to reach the most vulnerable in the hardest places (fragile contexts), which have become the center of the global development crisis. Overlapping crises of the pandemic, climate change and disasters, inflation, conflict, and global food insecurity are having the greatest impact on the most vulnerable people in the hardest places.

These challenges call for a new approach to eradicating extreme poverty. Conventional development has focused on meeting short- and long-term needs. What is missing is a focus on identifying complex risks of shocks (like cyclones and epidemics) and stressors (like chronic unemployment and forced displacement) that disrupt development agendas and peoples’ lives and livelihoods, and then fostering resilient solutions.     

Food for the Hungry has made resilience a central focus of its work with vulnerable communities in fragile contexts, taking an overarching “shared resilience approach.”

 

 

 

What drives resilience?

Since fragility is an imbalance of higher risks and lower capacities to manage those risks within fragile settings, international efforts must work with societies and governments to foster a range of resilient and positive coping capacities to better absorb shocks and stress, adapt in the face of crises, and to transform formal systems and institutions to get to the root causes of risks and crises that cause extreme poverty.

A core driver of resilience building is what we call social capital, which involves “bonding” within communities, “bridging” across communities, and “linking” between communities and formal institutions and systems for access to information, resources, and responsive action. Social capital helps to better mitigate risks and cope with shocks and stressors.

Test your resilience knowledge!

WHAT PERCENT OF THE WORLD’S EXTREME POOR (UNDER $1.90/DAY) ARE ESTIMATED WILL LIVE IN FRAGILE PLACES BY 2030?

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Answer: 86%

Social capital is a core driver of resilience. What are the three types of social capital?

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Answer: Bonding, Bridging, and Linking

Current development approaches focus on meeting human needs, but to build resilience, what do we also need to focus on?

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Answer: Risks, crises, and coping capacities

Shared Resilience Approach

 

Food for the Hungry works through a “shared resilience approach” (SRA) that supports positive relationships and connections between communities, markets, governments, systems and institutions to raise the overall resilience of vulnerable people and groups across systems in the hardest places. It is an organization-wide framework that guides our work across multiple sectors/themes (food security, markets, health, WASH, nutrition, education, disaster response, behavioral change, gender, equity and inclusion) and scales (national, regional, community, household, individual) to support the most vulnerable communities. SRA has six components: 

  • Fostering shared resilient systems by mapping overlapping risks and crises across social, economic and environmental systems, and strengthening resilience capacities and social capital among vulnerable households, between communities and in connecting with actors across local and national levels
  • Strengthening resilience through risk informed programs to foster absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities
  • Conducting resilience evaluation, analysis and learning (REAL)
  • Addressing climate change through climate change adaptation projects, advocacy and efforts to reduce our own carbon footprint
  • Cultivating partnerships for impact, learning and innovation
  • Striving for shared operational resilience in the face of adverse conditions

SRA puts a major emphasis on strengthening social capital (bonding, bridging and linking) as the driver of resilience and the core element of “shared” resilience processes and outcomes.

 

“Making good on the global promise to leave no one behind depends on addressing the root causes of current and emerging crises, preventing their re-occurrence, and strengthening the resilience of those most vulnerable.”

–United Nations

FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY