I am sitting in an airport lounge traveling home from meetings held in Washington on resilience and wanted to pass on some thoughts to you. First I think that there are a number of networks that need to be linked up for sharing resilience information. These include the Food security Information Network which I mentioned in my last message, as well as the Food Security Network supported by TOPS, Agrilinks supported by USAID, and Rockefeller resources. All of these sites can be accessed through the internet and have plenty of material on resilience measurement. We must make sure that the lessons captured by these networks is shared across these sites because they have very different memberships. DFID is also setting up a knowledge sharing platform through BRACED that ODI is engaged in.
Second, given the cost of collecting primary data, we should encourage different agencies, donors and governments to make existing data available for promoting resilience analysis. Many donors are already making these data available but more could be done on this.
Third, I think the real gap in sharing is about what are better practices in terms of interventions that actually lead to improved resilience. NGOs, governments and other implementing agencies are requesting such information all of the time. We need to share the tools we use to determine whether one practice is better than an alternative under what circumstances and in which context. With all of the resilience projects being implemented we need to share the lessons that are coming from implementation. We have a great opportunity to do this in real time as we see whether the programmes we are implenting are holding up under the impact of El Nino.
Fourth, we need to share better practices on how to do comprehensive assessments that lead to better design. Such assessments should help in developing a theory of change on what investments will lead to greater resilience in a given context so that measurement approaches can be designed to capture these changes. There is a long history on vulnerability assessments that we can build upon to inform our assessments aimed at improving resilience. We need both light assessment approaches that rely on qualitative data and secondary data as well as more mixed method approaches that combine qualitative and quantitative data collection.
Finally we need to determine what are better practices for linking social protection to resilience programming. For example if we know that shocks are overwhelming a community's ability to manage the shock, what are the key trigger indicators for activating a crisis modifiers for protecting assets. How do we determine the scale of the response, the timing and the duration. This information sharing would be critical as we struggle to respond effectively to the effects of El Nino.