How does resilience change over time? Tracking post-disaster recovery using mobile phone surveys

  • By Lindsey Jones, Paola Ballon and Johannes von Engelhardt
  • 08/08/2018

Credit: Alayung Thaksin / Panos

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Knowing how climate hazards affect people’s resilience over time is crucial in designing more effective development and humanitarian interventions. This is particularly important in post-disaster contexts, where people’s livelihood opportunities and wellbeing changes rapidly during the long road to recovery. Yet, to date, our knowledge of resilience is largely guided by snapshots: one-off surveys taken at a single point in time. This in turn guides how resilience-building interventions are designed and risks neglecting important temporal dimensions of resilience. Greater insights into the evolving nature of resilience are therefore desperately needed.

This paper tracks post-disaster recovery and changes in levels of resilience over time using a number of methodological innovations. Drawing on BRACED’s Rapid Response Research (RRR) project (for more on the RRR methodology, see the paper New methods in resilience measurement: early insights from a mobile phone survey in Myanmar using subjective tools), information has been collected on how households in eastern Myanmar recover from a series of extensive flood events from 1,200 individuals.

The paper also makes use of new ways of measuring resilience using people’s perceptions of their own risk, by collecting Subjectively Evaluated Resilience Scores (SERS) roughly every two months. The flexibility of the SERS approach allows authors to measure the impact of the flooding on households’ resilience to a range of overlapping threats (not just a single hazard), which we term ‘overall resilience’.

The Resilience Dashboard

The Resilience Dashboard allows anyone to explore insights from the RRR. Rather than relying on lengthy technical research reports, people are encouraged to delve into the data themselves and investigate interesting relationships between resilience the factors that might drive it. The dashboard will continue to be updated as more and more rounds of the survey come in over time.

For obvious privacy and security reasons all data is anonymised and aggregated. Not all of the survey data is presented here, though the RRR team aims to put as much useful information up as possible to allow people to understand as much as possible about the dynamics of resilience across the 8 villages.

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