Browse by Theme: Resilience

A baseline study is more than an assessment of reference values against future progress and an expected impact. It represents the narrative about the context of the project, the stakeholders and the key challenges in delivery. It should be seen as the starting point – the first milestone – in a journey of learning, adapting, improving, and delivering impact. It outlines the starting point of the project and it sets the foundation for the whole M&E framework and its tools, methodologies and sources of information for both tracking inputs delivery and large-scale changes. Given the complexity of such endeavour, this blog presents some key observations that apply to most development projects dealing with heightened variability and uncontrollable external forces.

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The global food system has failed. Almost two billion people are malnourished. In 2014, 161 million children were stunted because they did not get proper nutrition. At the same time, enormous amounts of food are lost post-harvest, or go to waste in the richer world.

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I am currently in Budapest, Hungary, attending the second of two days of regional consultations. This is the fourth in a series of regional consultations leading up to the May 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) taking place in Istanbul. The WHS will be a major event. It will be the first-ever global humanitarian summit of this scale. It also has an ambitious goal: the summit aims to find new ways to tackle humanitarian needs in our fast-changing world – a topic close to the heart of CARE’s work.

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Ten years ago on Boxing Day, the Indian Ocean tsunamis crashed into the shorelines of 14 countries, killing more than 228,000 people and making almost two million more people homeless and bereaved. The scale of the disaster and the speed with which entire towns and communities were swept away was something the modern world had never seen before. This was to change the way we prepare for and respond to crises forever.

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After natural disasters the phrase ‘Build Back Better’ is a constant refrain from politicians, donors, aid agencies and the media. This short, alliterative phrase has captured the imagination, and seems at first glance to be a simple, powerful and necessary principle. But is it the best message about what we do?

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As one of the estimated 30,000-40,000 people who took to the streets of London yesterday (as well as one of an estimated 570,000 people who protested across 161 countries) I am calling on governments of the world to take action on climate change URGENTLY. We cannot tackle poverty without tackling climate change – we have an urgent moral responsibility to stop the causes of climate change, and to help the most vulnerable to adapt to the impacts that are already locked into our climate system. This is not an environmental issue – this is a human rights issues.

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When I first worked in Kenya, 20 years ago, I saw how farming practices could provide a good life for men and women in rural villages even with little rainfall and where basic services, such as water and electricity were almost non-existent. Farmers and livestock keepers in the dry areas of Kenya have been, by necessity, resilient to difficult conditions. But this is at the cost of hard physical work over long hours on the farm alongside a constant search for additional income sources such as from small business activities just to feed the family and send children to school.

20 years on, rural communities are still dependent on the land but are now facing new challenges from the effects of climate change. Perhaps the biggest impact is the increased uncertainty of the weather patterns. Farmers are no longer sure when to plant, where to take animals for good grazing or when they will be affected by the increasing frequency of droughts and floods. This places a new demand on already vulnerable people. How can they adapt to climate change in the face of all this uncertainty?

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