Timeline of Resilience Thinking in Action

Reflections from the RMEL CoP Director

Over the past decade, the concept of resilience has evolved from discipline-specific, largely theoretical construct, to increasingly inter-disciplinary, multi-sectoral practice. This process has been stimulated by the intellectual, innovation, and investment efforts of organizations and networks seeking to operationalize complex systems and adaptive thinking through the lens of measurement, research, evaluation and learning. Critical papers, events and initiatives mark milestones on this journey, as captured on the Timeline of Resilience Thinking in Action.

In 2016, 50+ leaders in resilience measurement, evaluation and learning convened - in New York and in Rome – to explore innovations and advances in the analytical approaches, methods and tools being used to inform investments in resilience. Sharing resilience frameworks, analysis, and lessons learnt in resilience measurement, and identifying gaps and challenges in resilience measurement, evidence and learning as an emerging field, these founder members of the RMEL CoP saw the value of building a multi-network community of RMEL practice; one focused on Strengthening the Evidence Base for Resilience Investments.

Today the RMEL CoP is a diverse and growing community of over 250 members, drawn from 90+ organizations, motivated by a shared commitment to making resilience thinking actionable. Since launching in 2017, the RMEL CoP has: convened in Kampala - hosted by the Resilient Africa Network (RAN); made awards to four innovative collaborations among members; and hosted the RMEL Conference and Convening 2018.

Collectively as a community, and individually, within their organizations and sectoral networks, members are demonstrating that there is a ‘there, there’. In these times of complex change, uncertainty and increasingly frequent and high impact catastrophic events, actions to enhance resilience can increase the well-being of people and planet, as well as reduce the toll of human suffering and financial losses. RMEL is showing just how resilience matters; and the RMEL CoP, with its member platforms and partners, is increasingly demonstrating how to act on resilience across disciplines, sectors and geographies.

The challenge now is to shape the big investments in the name of resilience for all!


 “By taking RMEL on….it helps us to design and develop projects differently. This has been absolutely critical to teams thinking about what it means to build resilience”.

Nate Engle, World Bank


The non-exhaustive timeline of critical milestones along this resilience journey has been created by members. Download the summary and click on the links to papers and web-sites.

If you would like to propose a publication, event, initiative or trend to be included on the timeline, please complete this form and the secretariat will integrate additions from time-to-time.