Toward a more resilient society: Perspective of young Asian researchers

By Danileen Kristel Parel, Supervising Research Specialist, Philippines Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)

Major issues and shocks to the socio-economic, political, psychological state, as well as shocks to the environment, have significant effects to development. Resilience, which focuses on how vulnerable a system is to a shock and how long it takes to get back to its original state, serves as a powerful lens to view issues from a fresh perspective. The concept of resilience, which has drawn a wide range of definitions and usages, can be looked from several different angles. The four presentations shared during the 14th Annual Global Development Conference focus on the different views and ways the concept of resilience can be used. Four research paper proposals were presented, each one focusing on disaster risk reduction in four different countries, namely Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Young Researchers from South Asia and Pacific

Researchers during the GDN 14th Anuual Development Conferece

Disaster Impacts of Household and Community
Nguyen Viet Coung, from the National Economics University, focuses on national disasters, poverty and resilience in rural Vietnam. He claims that the impact on household welfare depends on the resilience level of the household and community to the shock.  Due to the increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters in the world, it is important to determine the extent by which household welfare and poverty are affected by these characteristics. He argues that if the damage of the shock on the economy has been established, government can implement stronger and effective policies and programs to address this issue.

Ebinezer Florano, from the National College of Public Administration and Governance, emphasizes the role of the community in disaster recovery. Communities, specifically in the Philippines, are said to be passive recipients of disaster recovery efforts. He asserts that it is more important to focus on recovery, instead of providing relief: By having a strong pre-disaster recovery plan, a community becomes more resilient.

The argument that resilience should start even before the disaster is supported by Widyawati Hadi of the Universitas Indonesia. She claims that, in developing communities, pre-planned programs to respond to the impacts of disasters, local knowledge, environment setting and community capacity should be taken into consideration.  This implies a bottom up program, where all the stakeholders, not just the formal ones, should be involved.

Resilience at the Individual Level
While the importance of community and household has been acknowledged, resiliency at the individual level should also be considered, according to Jeeraporn Kummabutr of Thammasat University. She argues that family-based intervention is beneficial: By improving the family system, the ability to recover after a traumatic event or disaster can be improved.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that resilience is a complex, multidimensional issue. It involves not just the prevention of the crisis, but also other aspects such as preparedness to the shock and crisis management. The response to a certain shock not only depends on community and household characteristics, but it also goes down to the individual level.

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4 Responses to Toward a more resilient society: Perspective of young Asian researchers

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