Understanding Vulnerability – Building Resilience
Proposed Session for the Society for Applied Anthropology Meetings
March 24-28, 2015
Miriam S. Chaiken (New Mexico State University) and
Michele Companion (University of Colorado-Colorado Springs)
As the global climate shifts, communities are faced with a myriad of mitigation and adaptation challenges. These challenges highlight their vulnerability and demonstrate their resilience. Research in the fields of hazard management, humanitarian response, food security programming, agricultural development, and gender-equity programming have sought to understand the factors that create vulnerability, and strategies to enhance resilience in individuals, families, and communities.
This session will bring together case studies from developing countries that illustrate programming that internalizes these dyadic concepts of resilience and vulnerability. Specifically we will examine programs that have helped reduce risks brought on by political instability, climate change, natural disasters, chronic food insecurity, inequality, and other problems that cause human suffering. Our goal is to both foster a richer understanding of the variations in vulnerability, and to derive lessons on fostering resilience that can be employed on a broader scale. Documenting the best practices for building resilience will be the outcome of this session.