Date of Award
Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)
International Development, Community and Environment
This paper analyzes resilience policy employed by the United States’ Agency for International Development (USAID). First, by situating USAID’s resilience policy within a historical context of the 2011 Horn of Africa Famine, and by drawing on existing literature, I show that USAID’s understanding of resilience, and thus its resilience-based policies, are inherently flawed by focusing solely on recurrent crisis. While recurrent crises pose a potential threat to resilience, communities that are exposed to chronic shocks have resilience mechanisms in place against those shocks. Rather, stochastic, or unplanned crises, are larger risks to livelihoods that USAID’s resilience policies do not address. While USAID’s definition of resilience is broad, encompassing aspects of adaptation and mitigation, it provides a narrow understanding of resilience that renders those that are faced with unplanned and stochastic shocks invisible.
Branham, Leta, "Overcoming Recurring Crisis through Resilience: An Analysis of USAID’s Definition of Resilience" (2019). International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE). 236.