Development process resilience and sustainable development: Insights from the Drylands of Eastern Africa
Robinson, Lance W.
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Recently, the development and humanitarian relief communities have directed their attention to building resilience to droughts and other shocks and stresses. Using resilience as a framework for planning investments in disaster risk reduction and development activities faces a number of challenges. Development implies that people are actively changing, which poses the question of whether such changes are adaptations or transformations, or whether this is a subjective or academic distinction. The lack of clarity presents a challenge for monitoring resilience-building investments, yet such investments require indicators of impact. In this paper we argue that resilience of the system per se is not the primary goal of development and may sometimes be an impediment. We propose an alternative approach to conceptualizing resilience that more accurately reflects the concerns of the humanitarian relief and development communities, which is based on monitoring resilience of the development process, rather than resilience of a given system.