Beyond Good Development – Integrating Resilience Thinking from Assessment to Implementation

Over the last five years, Mercy Corps has led an agency-wide initiative to operationalize a resilience approach to its development and humanitarian work. As part of this initiative, Mercy Corps developed the Strategic Resilience Assessment (STRESS), a methodology to help development practitioners apply resilience thinking to strategy and program design. Mercy Corps designed the STRESS process to help practitioners understand how complex systems and interconnected drivers of instability threaten progress toward development outcomes. In so doing, STRESS facilitates the development of measurable strategies and targeted interventions aimed at supporting communities in achieving long-term wellbeing outcomes and transformational change amidst acute shocks and slow-onset stresses.

STRESS has now been applied in 10 countries, ranging from Niger to Mongolia. This webinar:

  1. Introduced the STRESS process, its outputs and outcomes using Uganda as a case study.
  2. Explored how the outputs of a STRESS are being applied (expected and unexpected) and the impacts observed.
  3. Synthesized a set of learnings from the applications of the process to date which can inform additional resilience assessment methodologies.

Speakers include:

Eliot Levine is the Deputy Director of Mercy Corps’ Environment, Energy and Climate Technical Support Unit. In that role, he serves as the focal point for the agency’s Climate Resilient Development programming and plays a leading role in the global resilience initiative. In addition to providing technical support on the integration of climate and environment considerations into Mercy Corps’ development programing, his work focuses on the development of the Strategic Resilience Assessment (STRESS) methodology, applying a resilience lens to strategy development and program design. Before joining Mercy Corps, Eliot spent 8 years at World Wildlife Fund working on climate adaptation across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Kristin Lambert is the Program Manager for Climate Change and Resilience Research on the Research & Learning team. In this role, she provides technical and programmatic support to grants focused on Climate Information Services and resilience learning, including a review of the outcomes of the STRESS methodology in several countries. Prior to joining Mercy Corps, Kristin worked throughout sub-Saharan Africa on natural resource management, conservation and policy, including over three years in Liberia.

Bradley Sagara is Mercy Corps’ Senior Researcher for Resilience, which leads the agency’s global resilience research portfolio. His current research focuses on the effectiveness of resilience building strategies, return on investment of resilience building efforts and resilience dynamics in conflict contexts. Brad has over a decade of experience in quantitative research focusing on resilience, food security, and livelihoods in 15 countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

A recording of the webinar is available here: