Funded by

European Commission (DG ECHO)

Description of the project

The RESILIENCE project aimed principally to analyse the resilience of communities in relation to environmental and climatic crises and more specifically “to explore, understand and exchange about the strategies and processes of state and non-state actors, for effective programming which is adapted to climate change, risk reduction and poverty reduction, with a particular accent on European institutions”.

A series of six field studies were carried out between July 2010 and November 2011 in each of the project’s focus regions – Kalimantan in Indonesia, Pando in Bolivia and Borana in Ethiopia. These helped to identify the resilience strategies implemented by local communities in response to different types of natural disasters : forest fires in Indonesia, floods in Bolivia and drought in Ethiopia. They have also made it possible to analyse the environmental, economic, social and political vulnerabilities of local people and to understand the interaction between the different stakeholders: local communities, civil society organizations, the private sector, local authorities and governmental institutions.

Each field study was followed by a conference to present and discuss the findings with all the relevant stakeholders. These conferences were also an opportunity for stakeholders to exchange points of view, talk about their own constraints and identify obstacles to be overcome to ensure that there was better cooperation between actors and to reinforce the resilience of communities in relation to natural disasters and climate change.

On 24 November 2011, a workshop has been held in Brussels bringing together the main European actors involved in disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and poverty reduction. One of the objectives of this conference was to produce recommendations to make this integration directly applicable in the European Union’s development aid policy. These recommendations could then be incorporated into the EU’s 2014-2020 financial plan.

From 29 to 31 October 2012, the 8th Autumn School on Humanitarian Aid has been held at Groupe URD headquarters, bringing together experts in resilience-related issues. This event allowed certain key points to be explored, the results of the research project to be presented and the issues involved in the concept of Resilience to be debated in detail.

A feedback and discussion workshop has also been organized in Dakar about resilience, with a special focus on the Sahel region (26-27 February 2013). Representatives from the Senegalese and Mauritanian governments, AGIR Sahel initiative, IASC, OCHA, FAO, United Nations in Mauritania, OXFAM GB and Groupe URD facilitated discussion panels with 60 participants from relief and development organisations working in the Sahel region.


New tools for aid professionals

  • A handbook for policy-makers, students and professionals, about the key issues related to resilience and how it can be integrated into projects, programmes and policies. The handbook draws examples from the three RESILIENCE case studies and from experiences shared with us by practitioners working on resilience.
  • Reaching Resilience, a Serious Game that aims to help practitioners to shape their resilience-related project by asking a series of questions based on criteria and indicators from the handbook;
    • Learn about the concepts and challenges of Resilience and the questions it raises;
    • Take on the role of a field worker in a fictional context and see how these different issues affect each different phase of the project cycle.
  • Short films aimed at a wider audience. Each film gives an overview of the context of each case study and shows some of the key points that contribute to enhancing the resilience of local communities.
    • How do communities cope with natural disasters?
    • How do stakeholders interact to reinforce resilience?


Carried out by

François Grünewald

Director of Strategic Foresight (employed since 2009)

Bonaventure Sokpoh

Researcher, evaluator and trainer (2001-18)

Valérie Léon

Trainer, researcher and evaluator (since 2012)

Camille Raillon

Resilience Researcher (2010-11)