The failure of ‘resilience’ projects in northern Kenya: what can we learn?

Published on 5 May 2023

Ian Scoones

Professorial Fellow

Tahira Mohamed

Moving across northern Kenya, roadsides are strewn with signs proclaiming projects creating ‘resilience’ amongst pastoral communities. The ‘Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project’, the ‘Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods’ programme, the ‘Resilience Consortium’ and many more. Mission statements talk of creating a “prosperous and resilient community”, “ending drought emergencies” through resilience building, the generation of a “resilience dividend”, linking “resilience and accelerated economic growth” and so on.

The resilience buzzword is ubiquitous. But what does it mean, and what are the limitations of the current approach?

This article is from PASTRES, a research programme that aims to learn from pastoralists about responding to uncertainty and resilience, with lessons for global challenges. PASTRES is co-hosted by IDS.

Read the full story on the PASTRES website

The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IDS.


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