In Africa, remote borderland regions are commonly the site of protracted humanitarian crises. These places are formidable “islands of innovation”, where local initiative and skills are combined to generate innovative adaptive responses through multiple shocks.
How do these individual and community forms of resilience develop? What is the impact of such learning processes in relation to equity? Can these ‘islands of innovation’ provide the basis for broader structural transformation?
This research project will seek to answer these questions through studying various communities that have successively experienced conflict, natural hazards and epidemics in Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Studying these bottom-up approaches to resilience will contribute to discussions on synergies and tensions between individual and collective forms of resilience in humanitarian situations. This research will build capacity for researchers to capture these bottom-up processes through a new interdisciplinary methodology relying on social sciences, arts and humanities. By empowering survivors, this project will propose a new approach to humanitarian responses to protracted crises through local voices and long-term social learning.
The project is a consortium of: the Institute of Development Studies; two partner organisations in DRC – the Centre d’etude et de promotion en interventions socio-economiques (CEPRISE) and Institut National des Arts (INA) and two partner organisations in Côte d Ivoire – The Laboratoire de Sociologie Economique et d’Anthropologie des Appartenances Symboliques (LAASSE) and the Unité de Formation et de Recherche en Information, Communication et Arts (UFRICA) at the University Houphouët-Boigny.