The eleventh issue of Humanitarian Aid on the Move reviews the very rich exchanges that took place at the 8th Autumn School on Humanitarian Aid on the topic of resilience on 29-31 October 2012 at Groupe URD’s headquarters in the presence of more than forty participants from different organisations: NGOs, UN agencies, donors, the Red Cross, universities, etc.
The articles in this issue are transcriptions of the presentations that were made and the debates which took place, their themes having been chosen by the participants via the Open Space methodology. This event was organized as part of a research project conducted by a consortium made up of Care Nederland, the University of Wageningen and Groupe URD due to the need, a few years ago, to discuss and analyse the hazy concept of resilience in greater depth.
The 8th Autumn School took place at an interesting time, when a number of major events in October showed how important the subject has become: a conference on resilience in Japan (Japan Conference and Partnering Event on Resilience Against Disasters), an OECD high level expert meeting in Paris on resilience in the face of natural disasters, the European Commission’s Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group, not to mention the three or four publications per month since the beginning of the year (IDS, Sussex University, ODI, etc.). Having become a very fashionable term, the concept nevertheless has often remained abstract from an operational point of view and has caused a lot of confusion. Though we are proud to have had a pioneering role in this area when the subject was still in its embryonic stage, we also think that it is our responsibility to clarify it and make it more operational. There is no doubt that the collective intelligence which resulted from the 8th Autumn School will take us in this direction.
François Grunewald, Executive Director