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Vulnerability and resilience

The focus of disaster research and interventions have shifted from a vulnerability-focused approach to disaster risk reduction, to a more more holistic resilience-based approach.

This integrates themes from the development, sustainability and climate change agendas.

Since the turn of the century, the term resilience has gained traction. Resilience is used in two settings, each with its own conceptual views.

In an organisational perspective, resilience activities tend to emphasise risk management and preparedness, epitomised by the surge of funding for equipment and specialist training after 9/11 in the US and 7/7 in the UK.

In contrast the term ‘resilience’ in relation to communities and the social constructs of disaster is a synthesis of views from a range of academic disciplines including ecology, psychology, social sciences, and in discourse on sustainability and development, each emphasising different components of resilience.

It is not necessary or realistic to have a single definition of such a widely-used term but it is possible to have a consensus view of what we expect to see in a resilient community. We will move on to discuss this further next week.

Your task

In your opinion, what is the relationship between vulnerability and resilience?

Is resilience the opposite of vulnerability, or is it something different?

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This article is from the free online course:

Community Preparedness, Recovery and Resilience: An Introduction

Coventry University