Different communities have different hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities depending on their context. Determining actual risk is a complex matter requiring an understanding of local culture, social and spiritual norms and perceptions, history, education and personality.
World Vision defines resilience as the capacity of a system, community or society potentially exposed to hazards to adapt, by changing or resisting in order to reach and maintain acceptable levels of functioning and structure.
Resilience is also the capacity of a community to grow through disasters. It’s determined in part by the degree to which the social system is capable of organising itself to increase its capacity for learning from past disasters for better future protection and to improve risk reduction measures.
In its simplest form, the practice of disaster risk reduction requires any number of the following activities to build community resilience:
- Reduce vulnerabilities – conditions determined by physical, social, economic and environmental factors or processes that increase the susceptibility of a community.
- Mitigate the impact of natural and man-made situations that have the potential to adversely impact the lives and livelihoods of communities.
- Develop and enhance capacities in individuals, communities and institutions that can be used productively to reduce risk and build up resilience. The greater the capacity of a community and its people and institutions, the more resilient to risk they become.
For more information, please contact richard_rumsey [at] wvi [dot] org (Richard Rumsey).