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Community Resilience in a Crisis. Anouk Ride & Lionel Dau. Introduction – Resilience in Disaster. GOING GLOBAL TO LOCAL… GLOBAL…This presentation draws on comparative research of sites in five countries experiencing natural disaster

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community resilience in a crisis
Community Resilience in a Crisis

Anouk Ride & Lionel Dau

introduction resilience in disaster
Introduction – Resilience in Disaster

GOING GLOBAL TO LOCAL…

  • GLOBAL…This presentation draws on comparative research of sites in five countries experiencing natural disaster
  • Interview based research, Chapters co-written with locally based researchers, Featured in book “Community Resilience in Natural Disaster”, Palgrave Macmillan
  • AND LOCAL… Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT) oldest local NGO with experience of community development and disasters
global to local findings
GLOBAL TO LOCAL FINDINGS
  • Intention of uncovering why some communities indicated cooperation and resilience
  • Resilience often neglected, ignored or bypassed by interveners
  • Conflict and natural disasters often intersect
  • Natural disasters, like conflict, are crises providing opportunities to change communities, for better and for worse
  • Main findings of book and SIDT experience. Does the global experience fit in Solomon Islands?
1 local resilience vs universalism one size fits all
1) LOCAL RESILIENCE VS UNIVERSALISM (one size fits all)
  • “command and control”, “cookie cutter” disaster interventions clashed with local knowledge and local approaches
  • Local groups facing disaster had agency & high levels of cooperation, altruism in initial response
  • Informal governance & help from the local people primary actors
  • Interventions could be ignorant of local capabilities and culture
sidt experience
SIDT experience
  • Local capacity to response before, during and after disaster
  • E.g. local knowledge on traditional early warning system to predict the likely happening of disaster.
  • If flooding occurred in the past ,what did people do, what action has been taken during the flood, who gave advices ,which group of people were mostly affected and what action has been taken to help the most affected group of people in the villages.
  • Local focus based on everyone in the same community affected by disaster whereas outside intervention might focus on the most impacted people and areas in an event of disaster 
pakistan earthquake
Pakistan - earthquake

There’s a way in which you can do this [distribution of relief] that the community feels like yes it has suffered, but it has some level of control and it deserves or it has the right to the help it’s getting, it’s not necessarily charity.

When we went in for a programme on psychosocial support, for example, by that time the community was so used to getting things and going into a very passive mode, you know of being or not really believing that they have any agency or they need to take any action.

Maria, local NGO Director

2 crisis narrow vs long term thinking
2) CRISIS/NARROW VS LONG TERM THINKING

By the way, the people are not really happy about the relief food. They know. They know that thing is unsustainable. And, again, currently, they have actually changed their perception. You get the women groups, the youth at risk, they feel that, can you give us money, so that we can do something we feel is very important for our lives? Rather than just giving us food. Another saying is, can you change this food into money? Because we can do something. You know, there are some development workers, who believe that relief food is the best assistance we can provide. It is not. Relief food should really be brought in when other food production systems have collapsed. But immediately, once these production systems are actually working, then it should be phased out. We have to link relief and development. Because what- ever you do in relief time, you should actually build into development work. And that link should really be fortified.

Chris, development worker and pastoralist, Kenya

slide9

SIDT experience

  • People permanently move to other location if they have experience any disaster that might happened to them.
  • People continue to adapt traditional knowledge, example on food preparation and preservation 
3 women vs women in the community
3) WOMEN VS WOMEN IN THE COMMUNITY

Women were often seen as outside rather than in the cultural context, e.g. meetings were held where women did not speak as men were there, women could not move about aid camps for fears of safety and harassment, women often were busy being the primary carers and providers for other family members so could not participate in decision-making.

Disasters provided opportunities for positive inclusion of women in decision making:

Women sitting and meeting—women-friendly spaces were made for women, village-level organizations were made, they were given the opportunity to participate in reconstruction and rehabilitation work. For example, Saibaan (a local NGO) built this road. In our culture what role would women play in building a road?—but women monitored it, managed things, made the payments with their own hands, selected the labor themselves. And when such an excellent road was built they realized that women could be a great force for them, to develop the family.

Naila, NGO worker and teacher, Pakistan

slide11

SIDT experience

  • The participation of women in disaster - preparedness, prevention and mitigation is very important because they are regarded as a most vulnerable in the event of disaster.
  • Their role should involve more on planning and even implementation
5 coordination of actors partnerships
5) COORDINATION OF ACTORS & PARTNERSHIPS

Interventions are often temporary rather than working with local people to create more lasting change, coordination of agencies and actors is needed in a disaster situation

NGOs have always been temporary people. They come for a day or a week, and then it is all forgotten.

Ereng, “mamma” or local woman active in community activities in Kenya

We find INGOs want to work by themselves. They have their own rules and principles. It is the goal for them to be able to cooperate and collaborate. They can carry out this work for the long term if they can partner with trustworthy local organizations.

Anonymous NGO worker, Myanmar

slide13

SIDT experience

  • Coordination of actors in SI has been a problem
  • The new cluster system help each actor to coordinate and organize before going to the disaster targeted audience
  • The new cluster arrangement really helps to avoid duplication of disaster response activities in the community and it is also enhance strong partnership between different organization and stakeholder
6 disasters vs peace
6) DISASTERS VS PEACE
  • Disaster communal experience – talk to neighbors, strangers about what could be happening to make sense of the disaster; people acted in groups, solidarity important psychological and social resource
  • Aid emphasized individual needs, individual entitlements, individual competition, notably for supplies
  • Peacebuilding opportunities… e.g. Buddhist and Christian in Burma
  • Rising conflicts

There were a lot of conflicts, especially when the organizations were giving out supplies. Some people fight. Some people get double share and the people who are more quiet and submissive get nothing. They think just leave it, God will punish them or something like that.

Anonymous business owner, Solomon Islands

slide15

SIDT experience

  • Humanitarian aid-induced protection problems - caused by inappropriate, ‘protection-blind’ humanitarian response [e.g. undermining of community structures or traditional support mechanisms, dependency on aid, top-down imposed projects that fail to meet needs, disempowered/helpless communities]
  • Unfair distribution of disaster assistance in community.
  • Ignoring community capacity & community governance
  • Providing assistance without respect in dignity
  • Aid workers serving only families and wantoks
  • Political interference in affected area (e.g. 2007 tsunami)
7 culture for adaptation
7) CULTURE FOR ADAPTATION

Remembrance…

We are going to name this drought immediately after its end. We will give this drought a name, so that in the future we will tell the people what happened. So, people are going to be prepared. So, that they do not suffer the way we did during this long spell of drought.

Chiefs (wazee) David and Moses, Kenya

Identity of place and community…

I think you already know about Acehnese. They used to face conflicts. They have a strong mentality to handle challenging situations. We have those capacities. We used to find ways to survive. Anything. We do everything to survive.

Edy, street children worker, Aceh

sidt experience culture for adaptation
SIDT experience CULTURE FOR ADAPTATION
  • According to Melanesian culture the degree of respect for the elderly, create an avenue where young generation can learned some traditional adaptation norms in the society.
  • E.g. Barter system on traditional exchange of good and other material.
  • Welcoming the unexpected guest/Feeding the hungry
  • The practise of extended families or wantoks system.
  • The wantoks system had both the positive and negative impact depending on how we use and when and where we use it.
sidt experience culture for adaptation1
SIDT experience CULTURE FOR ADAPTATION
  • Community members noted the idea of working together as a key message for any adaptation , linking this to the importance of following the advice and lead of community leaders in order to build a better community
  • Community-based adaptation emphasises community resources and capacities, along with community-responsibilities for their own protection.
  • People maintain their traditional and cultural heritage, whilst adapting to the current changes with regards to food security, cultural practices, resource management, sustainability and proper planning and consideration of future developments. (example)
recommendations
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • LOOK FOR LOCAL RESILIENCE, WORK WITH WHAT IS WORKING
  • FOCUS ON COMMUNITY AS WHOLE, NOT JUST INDIVIDUALS/NUMBERS 
  • THINK LONG TERM, WHAT WILL BE IMPACTS ON SOCIETY, ECONOMY, ETC OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW? 
  • SEE WOMEN IN THEIR CULTURAL CONTEXT, WORK WITH THEM IN WAYS THAT BROADEN THEIR PARTICIPATION
  • LONG TERM PARTNERSHIPS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN TEMPORARY INTERVENTIONS
  • USE DISASTERS AS A PEACEMAKING OPPORTUNITY/DON’T CREATE CONFLICT
  • REMEMBER CULTURE AND ADAPTATION IS SIGNIFICANT & LINKED