Building community resilience is the process of strengthening capacities of individuals, communities, governments, and other social systems to manage natural disasters effectively in order to minimize losses, and “bounce back” in the shortest possible time. It is both a “journey” and a “destination” at the same time, and we must focus on both simultaneously to realize its benefits.
There is a clear case for making investment in reducing disaster risk in vulnerable communities. Avoiding losses is always preferable to sustaining them and can be achieved at lower overall cost. But challenging questions remain. If “resilience” is going to take hold as a widely accepted strategy for addressing disaster risk, and not be viewed as yet another development buzzword, it must be seen as a strategy that is integrated with the broader paradigms of community-based development. This paper will attempt to frame this process through looking at these three frequently asked but rarely answered questions:
- Where do we start in building community resilience?
- What existing initiatives are Asian countries progressing towards in building community resilience?
- How do we know that the programs and projects we are supporting contribute to successfully building community resilience?
Building Community Resilience: Mapping the Journey of Local Community-based NGOs in Developing Sustainable Preparedness Programs aims to give corporations, foundations, individual donors, and other advocates of community resilience the information to invest strategically in Asia - one of the most vulnerable and at-risk regions on the planet. The paper is the second in a three-part disaster relief and recovery series that is borne out of the partnership between Give2Asia and the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) to support local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) building community resilience.
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