The purpose of this document is to present key partners with the IFRC’s definition of, and perspectives on, resilience. It includes case studies from America, Asia and Africa.


  • For the IFRC, resilience is defined as the ability of individuals, communities, organisations, or countries exposed to disasters and crises and underlying vulnerabilities to anticipate, reduce the impact of, cope with, and recover from the effects of adversity without compromising their long-term.
  • Interventions to strengthen resilience aim to: (a) address underlying causes of vulnerability in order to protect development; (b) reduce and mitigate radical drops in resilience caused by disasters and crises; and (c) enhance bouncing back from adversity.
  • To strengthen resilience there is a need to accept that people come first. Resilience is not something outsiders can do, or bring to individuals or communities; one must respect local ownership. Dependency on outside support or substitution should be avoided as much as possible. It is also necessary to engage in comprehensive cross-sector assessments, planning and implementation, and to develop a long-term perspective. Strengthening resilience does not happen overnight and requires long-term engagement and investment; working in partnership; knowing the limits; and strengthening disaster laws and policies.
  • Characteristics of a resilient community, with case studies, can be found on pp. 17-25.


Usage:Guidance for project implementation

Audience: National Society leadership, Technical staff


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