Applying resilience thinking in BRACED – how resilience is interpreted in consortia projects and processes

  • By Frances Crowley, Camilla Audia, Emma Visman and Mark Pelling
  • 26/06/2018

Men finishing the harvest manually and with the help of a cart in Passoré, Burkina Faso, 2017. Ph : Camilla Audia


Strengthening the resilience of rural households to climate extremes and disasters has been the focus of the Christian Aid-led DFID-funded BRACED programme in Ethiopia (CIARE) and Burkina Faso (Zaman Lebidi). Faced with droughts and flooding of increasing frequency and intensity due to the effects of climate variability and global environmental changes, the projects in both countries have adopted a consortium approach to address multiple elements of vulnerability, with diverse partners working to strengthen climate information services, risk communication, behavioural change, skills and technology, governance issues and access to livelihood assets. In both projects, researchers at King’s College London (KCL) lead on learning and resilience research.

This learning paper examines how the concept of resilience has impacted on the way the project has been conceived in terms of organisational structure, learning and research and in turn, on how working in consortia and a focus on organisational learning has supported or challenged the task of building resilience.

Based on interviews carried out with Zaman Lebidi and CIARE partners over the last year, and from the discussions and outputs of the Cross BRACED workshop held in Burkina Faso in September 2017, we build on the findings outlined in KCL learning paper #3 ‘Learning to support co-production: Approaches for practical collaboration and learning between at risk groups, humanitarian and development practitioners, policymakers, scientists and academics’.

In this learning paper, we focus on linking research findings to the theory underpinning organisational practices for resilience building. We explore to what extent the BRACED experience in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia has applied the theory in project implementation and with what results. Further to this, we highlight some of the organisational challenges identified by both consortia during the Cross BRACED workshop and draw on the ideas developed amongst partners to address these challenges in ongoing and future resilience programmes.

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