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Humanitarian Aid on the move #11, special issue: Resilience

What does resilience mean in contexts where there are multiple, permanent risks: the example of Latin and Central America
Presentation by Nelson Castaño

How can we conceptualise and systematise the historical knowledge of our people, our communities, and our organisations? The concept of Disaster Risk Reduction first emerged in the 1990’s during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. Climate change adaptation came a little bit later, and after that, strategies on how to connect them together. Now we have begun to talk about “Resilience”.

 Resilience – Foundations and Commitments

1984: “Prevention better than Cure”

Mid-1990’s: “Reducing Risk”

1999: new IFRC Disaster Preparedness Policy, VCA Guide

2001 - 2008: DFID Pilot Disaster Reduction Program

2002: WDR – Reducing Risk2004: Community Resilience

2003: 29th International Conference “Agenda for Humanitarian Action”

2005: “Hyogo Framework for Action”

2007: 30th International Conference “Together for Humanity”

2008 - 2009: Framework for Community Safety and Resilience, Oslo Communiqué - Strategy 2020

2010: WDR – Urban Risk


At the beginning of October 2012, an internal IFRC workshop was held in the Dominican Republic, bringing together local communities, local NGOs and governments to talk about urban risk and resilience. One of the mayors of a small town pointed out that we needed to change the approach, moving towards the concept of resilience instead of working through the lense of disaster risk reduction, as we have been doing for ten years now.

The concept of resilience is related to preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. But how can we make it simple and operational? How do we connect it with the realities of local communities? How do we transfer knowledge effectively to the communities?

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