Are we messing with people's resilience? Analysing the impact of external interventions on community intrinsic resilience uri icon

abstract

  • People are by nature characterized by some degree of intrinsic resilience. The capacity of households and communities to deal with shocks and stressors (their resilience) is therefore not something that is simply "introduced" or "added" externally through the activities of a project, but instead something that exists internally, and that can be altered (strengthened or weakened) by external interventions. Using qualitative data from a resilience programme in Burkina Faso, we propose to explore more thoroughly the question of the dynamics between community intrinsic resilience and external interventions. For this, several related issues are investigated, including the possibility of erosion of intrinsic resilience mechanisms due to the effect of recurrent shocks, the potential crowding-out effect of external interventions on those intrinsic resilience mechanisms, and the exploration of detailed causal pathways describing the ways external interventions can create additional elements of resilience amongst the targeted communities. Some of the programmatic and research implications of the key-findings are highlighted.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020