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Resilience and humanitarianism in the face of recurrent crisis and fragility: a resilience approach to humanitarian development response

Bimeny, Ponsiano (2019) Resilience and humanitarianism in the face of recurrent crisis and fragility: a resilience approach to humanitarian development response. Deconstructing notions of resilience: exploring coping strategies and resilience in post-conflict Uganda (Working paper No. 1). Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper discusses the circumstances under which international humanitarian development interventions may unintentionally compromise and exacerbate community’s vulnerability rather than enhance its resilience capacity. It concerns humanitarian interventions that target specific social systems with the aim of systemic change so as to improve their resilience to current as well as future stresses and shocks. Mercy Corps’ (MC) resilience approach to relief, recovery and development in recurrent crisis and fragility settings provides a case for examining the implication of its Revitalisation of Agricultural Incomes and New Market (RAIN) project implementation in Lamwo District, Northern Uganda. The paper is based on a review of RAIN’s publicly accessible online project resources, and qualitative data collected through interviews and observation between September 2017 and April 2018. Two analytical perspectives are employed, that is, determining the ‘critical loop’ or ‘triggers of change’ of a system and their ‘feedback mechanism’; and interpreting the feedbacks generated by the system prior to and during the intervention. The findings reveal that MC identified ‘market’ as ‘trigger of change’ particularly in addressing poverty and adapted a light-touch facilitative approach to market system development. In the course of RAIN’s implementation, significant progress was registered particularly in addressing the distorted and unstable market as it became more robust and resilient. On the contrary, as market in Lamwo witnessed swift expansion, becoming more robust, stable and resilient, the local population were equally experiencing regression in their ability to cope with, and becoming increasingly less resilient to, shocks and stresses that they would otherwise have been able to cope with.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: IGA: Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Collections > Deconstructing Notions of Resilience
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2019 15:36
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2019 00:56
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101111

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