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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Why resilience?


This online consultation on the creation of a knowledge sharing platform on resilience invites you to exchange around three main discussions in order to ensure that the knowledge sharing platform answers the needs of the resilience community and that it generates effective and sustainable interventions towards resilience building of livelihoods. We are increasingly confronted with natural and manmade disasters and crises all around the world.

Natural disasters can destroy lives and wipe out years of development in a matter of hours or even seconds. Populations around the world are increasingly exposed to natural hazards (droughtfloodshurricanes, earthquakes, disease epidemics, etc.), to man-made crises (socio-economic shocks, conflicts, etc.) and to protracted crises (complex, prolonged emergencies that combine two or more aspects of the above-mentioned crises).

Men and women who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods are often the worst affected when a crisis or a disaster strikes, potentially putting their food and nutrition security at serious risk. For this purpose, FAO implements a strategic programme dedicated to resilience building and defines resilience as:

"The ability to prevent disasters and crises as well as to anticipate, absorb, accommodate or recover from them in a timely, efficient and sustainable manner. This includes protecting, restoring and improving livelihoods systems in the face of threats that impact agriculture, nutrition, food security and food safety."

In other words, resilience is the ability of people, communities or systems that are confronted by disasters or crises to withstand damage and to recover rapidly.

Given the multi-sectoral character of shocks and stressors and their effects on livelihoods, cross-sectoral solutions are needed to build resilience. Those solutions need to integrate what has been operating in silos up until now: disaster risk reduction, agricultural risk management, early warning, humanitarian and development elements, all linked to the food security and nutrition sector. In short, the resilience field is still very fragmented and there is a strong need for inter-sectoral coordination and coherence in order to provide a common understanding on resilience, how to measure and analyze it, how to monitor it and how to provide the appropriate policy recommendations to decision-makers.

Why now?

Nowadays, the concept of resilience is gaining momentum and unprecedented attention worldwide. Many initiatives and frameworks are confirming the importance of resilience:

  • Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction framework
  • COP 21
  • World Humanitarian Summit 2016 (WHS 2016)
  • SDGs – the new M&E framework which include resilience
  • Committee on World Food Security (CFS)-Framework For Action (FFA)

What is the role of knowledge sharing for resilience building?

Knowledge sharing has a key role to play in resilience building. A lot of work is being done on resilience, a fair amount of experience is being gained across sectors, success is finding its way and solutions to constraints are being found on an individual basis. However, knowledge gained is not systematically shared, good practices are not replicated nor upscaled sufficiently and policies are not adequately informed by relevant food and nutrition security information systems. At the same time, the abundance of tools for food security, nutrition and resilience point to the needs for greater harmonization.

As a consequence, it becomes increasingly important to improve tools, build synergies around resilience practitioners and initiatives and address the clear danger of duplication and lack of learning.

It is necessary to provide a physical and virtual meeting point for the many communities involved in resilience work which includes Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Climate Change (CC), peacebuilding, food and nutrition security, and humanitarian work among others..

It is time to bring different skills sets together in one place: data and information providers, data analysts and users, M&E specialists, information and knowledge management experts, project and programme managers, political consultants and policy-makers.INFORMED

Addressing adequately these challenges will trigger more effective interventions for resilience and will provide decision makers with robust evidence for more effective policy design. This is what the FAO strategic programme on resilience is planning to achieve in establishing a knowledge sharing and learning platform on resilience with the support of the EU funded programme INFORMED.

We are organizing this e-consultation from 15 February to 4 March 2016 around three mains discussions to consult with the resilience,  the information and knowledge management community in order to ensure that the knowledge sharing platform answers the real needs of the resilience community; that it builds efficient synergies and integration with existing initiatives; and that the technology, infrastructure, products and services offered by the platform make a real difference towards resilience of livelihoods and policy change.


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