Forging Resilience: A Symposium at American University (AU) Washington, DC, February 25, 2014
A number of practitioners, evaluators, educators, researchers, funders, and representatives of civil society organizations and development agencies convened at the American University Washington, DC campus for a daylong symposium themed Forging resilience: defining next steps and building on initial gains. The participants compared and explored approaches on how to operationalize resilience building. Resilience was explained and discussed in the light of conflict and fragility, peace building, food security and nutrition, humanitarian assistance and other areas of development. Discussions on the definition, the applicability, the institutionalization, the sustainability, the funding and piloting and the scaling-up of resilient programs dominated most of the day. Also discussed were the intersection of systems theories and resilience thinking, and the need for institutionalizing resilience and incorporating it in the policy making process. A participant from TANGO International suggested that resilience measures/indicators should look at the absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacity. The symposium sponsors and participants hope to have similar discussion next April before the planned May 2020 Vision Initiative Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.