Towards a Quantifiable Measure of Resilience
IDS Working Paper 434
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The objective of this paper is twofold. First it illustrates and discusses some of the challenges related to the measurement of resilience by reviewing some of the most recently published and grey literature on resilience in relation to food security.
Second it proposes a new framework that addresses some of the concerns and limitations of resilience measurement identified in that literature. The main postulate of this framework is that the ‘costs of resilience’ (that is, the different ex-ante and ex-post investments, losses, sacrifices, and costs that people have to undertake at individual and collective levels to ‘go through’ a shock or an adverse event) provide an appropriate and independent metric to measure resilience across scales and dimensions.
The paper shows how the independent nature of this metrics offers an explanatory power that can be used to infer, in a testable and rigorous manner potential, causalities between the metric and household and/or community characteristics. Empirical and theoretical examples are used throughout the paper to illustrate the arguments.