Browse by Theme: Resilience

Two recent CARE workshops have helped frame for me the resilience discussion that has come to dominate development discourse over the last five years. In fragile contexts, can we afford to be ambitious with our programming goals to encompass both gender transformative action and crisis adaptation? And more to the point, can we afford not to?

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Last month I visited Tigray, Northern Ethiopia, to interview farmers and livestock traders faced with the drought effects of one of the most devastating El Niños in 50 years. What are their coping strategies in the face of extreme weather patterns? How are those strategies linked to national and international market systems? And how, through these systems, can we bring about a better deal for those in the supply chain typically made more vulnerable by drought – namely, women?

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After disasters many international agencies, including CARE, undertake a whole range of projects to help affected people recover, including the construction of houses. These may be described as all sorts of things, including temporary shelter, transitional shelter, durable shelter, semi-permanent shelter, core houses or permanent houses. Which description is used often seems almost arbitrary, decided by a mixture of assumptions about people’s recovery, donor mandates and priorities, government policy and the level of expertise available in agencies. The description rarely matches reality.

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CARE has been working in India for over 65 years, and over that time a large part of its work has been responding to and supporting recovery from disasters. Many of these humanitarian projects have involved emergency shelter and housing reconstruction. Indeed, since 2000, CARE has built over 8,000 houses for some of the most vulnerable people who have lost their homes in disasters. A number of other agencies have undertaken similar construction programmes over the years. So what has the long-term effect of these projects been? Is the approach right, and given both the scale of typical disasters in India and the increasing quality and reach of government response, is the approach still relevant and appropriate?

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The introduction, conclusions and recommendations from the full report.

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Over the last 15 years CARE India and other NGOs have repeatedly responded to natural disasters where large numbers of people have lost their homes. This study evaluates the medium- to long-term effectiveness of post-disaster shelter responses and recommends measures to strengthen future shelter programmes, whether undertaken by CARE or other agencies, to most effectively address the complex and interconnected needs of disaster-affected women, girls, men and boys.

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This report produced by CARE Nepal warns that reconstruction in Nepal following the 2015 earthquakes might leave some earthquake-affected people behind, including very vulnerable ones such as squatters, undocumented citizens or owners without a formal land title. The report highlights land use planning as a necessary step in reconstruction, and recommends specific actions to allow progressive rights to become effective in practice.

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