Resilience? It’s all about the people

In an emergency, the primary response to a crisis is a humanitarian one.

This is by default a short-term response, when most of the problems are long-term, according to Luca Alinovi, senior emergency and rehabilitation coordinator at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

But with resilience going mainstream in recent years, the tables have turned and some forward-thinking global development professionals are proposing a wholly new approach to previously intractable problems.

An indication of how resilience has risen to prominence is its implicit and explicit inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, target 1.5 is dedicated to building resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations, reducing their vulnerability to shocks and disasters.

The real proof of concept, however, only comes when theory turns into practice and resilience-based programs are applied in the field, where practitioners can get a sense of what is successful and what is not.

People-centric approach

Until recently, the general rhetoric behind emergency intervention has been that disasters only have a negative impact on the affected population. However, according to Alinovi, this is not always the case: “Yes, there are a lot of people suffering, but there are also people who are doing better, and we don’t look at those who do better to understand what we need to do, in turn, for this to continue.” Read More