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DEFINITIONS OF COMMUNITY RESILIENCE: AN ANALYSIS The word Resilience has become popular currency in disaster management. But there is no single definition which can be used universally. The Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI) has made e

BY: Sanjay Pandey
Organization: Yuganter
Original Source / Author: Community and Regional Resilience Institute 21 Jun, 2017
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DEFINITIONS OF COMMUNITY RESILIENCE: AN ANALYSIS

The word Resilience has become popular currency in disaster management. But there is no single definition which can be used universally. The Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI) has made effort to analyze the definitions of

Word and definition of Resilience

Resilience word is derived from the Latin resalire which means to spring back. This word is used an important term in the language of many disciplines ranging from psychology to ecology. The definitions which are most valuable in terms of improving the ability of communities to recover after disasters explicitly or implicitly contain the following five core concepts:

  • Attribute: resilience is an attribute of the community.
  • Continuing: a community’s resilience is an inherent and dynamic part of the community.
  • Adaptation: the community can adapt to adversity.
  • Trajectory: adaptation leads to a positive outcome for the community relative to its state after the crisis, especially in terms of its functionality.
  • Comparability: the attribute allows communities to be compared in terms of their ability to positively adapt to adversity

 

Resilience began being used in terms of disasters, especially by the engineering community (particularly referring to physical infrastructure), in the 1980’s, and was related to the concept of being able to absorb and recover from hazardous event. Since that time, hybrid definitions have arisen that combine the engineering with the ecological, or the ecological with the behavioral.

 

Classification of Definition

 

Since 1978 till date several definitions have been given by an individual or agencies. Which can be classified in different category?

  • One way the definitions can be classified is by contrasting “Being vs. Becoming.”
  • Others take a phenomenological view of resilience as a process –
  • Another classifies the definitions is by “Adaptation vs. Resistance.” Most of the definitions reflect the idea of adaptation to cope with adversity.
  • Another way to classify the definitions is in terms of “Trajectory.” Many of the ecologically-derived definitions (Resilience Alliance) are focused on whether or not the community changes in the face of adversity.
  • The definitions can also be classified in terms of “Predictability.” Some of the definitions lend themselves to comparisons among communities).
  • Finally, the definitions can also be compared in terms of what they imply about the temporal nature of resilience.

 

Useful Definition by CARRI

 

Each definition has value and has led to positive contributions within its domain. The Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI) is focused on enhancing the resilience of communities.

 

CARRI reached to the conclusion that a definition useful for improving the ability of a community to regain functionality after a disaster dhould  embody the following core concepts:

 

  1. Resilience is an inherent and dynamic attribute of the community. This means that it exists throughout the life of the community. Potentially it can either be determined absolutely, or at least changes in a community’s resilience can be detected.
  2. Adaptability is at the core of this attribute. Adaptation can occur either in response to or in anticipation of a crisis. Any adaptation must improve the community, i.e., must result in a positive outcome (positive trajectory) for the community relative to its state after experiencing adversity. This can best be detected by considering the level of functionality of the community after a crisis.

 

  1. Resilience should be defined in a manner that enables useful predictions to be made about a community’s ability to recover from adversity. This will enable communities to assess their resilience and take action to improve it if necessary.

 

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