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Measuring ‘Subjective Resilience’: Using Peoples' Perceptions to Quantify Household Resilience

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Jones, Lindsey; Jones, Lindsey
Date: 2015
Agency: Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Series: Working Paper 423
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9872
Sector: Social Organization
Subject(s): measurement
climate change
Abstract: "This paper advocates for the use of one such alternative: the measurement of ‘subjective’ resilience at the household level. The concept of subjective resilience stems from the premise that people have a good understanding of the factors that contribute to their ability to anticipate, buffer and adapt to disturbance and change. Subjective household resilience, therefore, relates to an individual’s cognitive and affective self-evaluation of their household’s capabilities and capacities in responding to risk.In this paper, we discuss the advantages of measuring subjective household resilience. A subjective approach challenges the notion that experts are best placed to evaluate other people’s livelihoods. It relies on people to self-assess and consider what characteristics are most important to the resilience of their household, providing a valuable opportunity to capture the perspectives of those who may know most about their own resilience: the people themselves. Thus, in some ways, the assessment of subjective resilience is more of a bottom-up process than traditional forms of ‘objective’ resilience measurement."

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