Resilience and Climate Change
Led a Resilience Assessment in Niger for Mercy Corps International. Worked with staff from headquarters and field offices to carry out a process involving dozens of participants in multiple countries, created research design for community level Focus Group discussions, Key Informant Interviews, and Expert Interviews, reviewed secondary literature, and wrote a comprehensive report with a Theory of Change for a new 10 year strategy.
Facilitated stakeholder meetings in Larimer and El Paso Counties, Colorado as part of a County Resilience Planning process supported by the State of Colorado Recovery and Resilience Office and implemented by Ecology and Environment Inc. Designed and/or facilitated four workshops with other colleagues, and co-wrote the strategy sections of the County Resilience Plans.
Wrote an agency wide Guidance Document for Mercy Corps staff on Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, and Resilience for Mercy Corps International. The document reviews the basics of these three interrelated fields, and guides staff into how to use all three to reduce risk for communities around the world to a variety of shocks and stresses. I also created an accompanying training workshop with a Facilitator’s Guide and Power Point,[CA1] with support from Adaptive Resources Ltd. and ISET International, and piloted the workshop in Portland, Beijing and Tokyo with a variety of NGO participants.
Analyzed ten Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments, and recommended extensive changes to handle the complexity and scale issues in urban areas. Conducted a resilience training in Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya.
There are many resilience frameworks. Most of them take into account the complex interrelationships between the systems that people rely on, the organizations that run them, and the resources available. They are very powerful, but they take time to understand. For many purposes, simply a list of what makes things more resilient will do in a pinch. We wrote this list to explain some common characteristics of resilience, and how to apply them.
Conducted a study with Dr. Karen MacClune and other staff of ISET-International right after devastating floods ravaged the Boulder area. This case study provides concrete examples of what makes a city resilient through the analysis of built infrastructure, human systems, and legal and cultural norms. This study diagnoses why the county came through unscathed in some areas while encountering massive damages in others. The study used a conceptual framework for understanding resilience developed by ISET-International that has proved to be extremely useful both in the US and internationally. Prof. Ron Brunner described it as “by far the most comprehensive and detailed account of last year’s floods I’ve seen….It is also among the best case studies I’ve seen on disaster mitigation and climate adaptation in other local communities.”
Developed a conceptual framework and training materials for the American Red Cross International Programs staff to develop strong community programs around the world to build resilience to climate and urbanization. Provided guidance on how to start programs in African cities, including connecting all scales of action to build resilience for vulnerable groups.
Conducted a Gender-sensitive Climate Change Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis in the Mopti Region of Mali using Participatory Rural Appraisal tools, Key Informant Interviews, and secondary literature.
Facilitated workshops for a NOAA-funded project with a multi-stakeholder group in the City of Boulder to test the use of climate thresholds as a useful way of planning for climate change. As part of a multi-disciplinary team led by Adaptation International and ISET, we helped small cities across the United States understand how to use climate thresholds to manage extreme weather events. The experience showed that staff from important local institutions like government departments, hospitals and non-profits all find it easier to make plans for adapting to climate change when it is framed in terms of extreme weather events that they already have experience of.
Led the first effort at Catholic Relief Services to determine its position on climate change, and what its role should be. This paper set forth the perspective of Catholic Relief Services on global climate change and served as a resource for agency staff to develop follow up plans, including advocacy positions, materials to inform and engage CRS’ US constituency, steps to ensure capacity in overseas programs, and management of CRS’ own impact on the environment. Specifically, the paper addresses how climate change is currently affecting the people, what is expected to happen into the future, what do the teachings of the Church say about how to respond to climate change and what can CRS do to meet this challenge.
Designed and implemented a baseline study for Lutheran World Relief of nearly 13,000 households for the $13 million USAID-funded project 12/12 Resilience Alliance in Niger, with CESAF Sarl Consult in Niamey. The project included designing questionnaires, training enumerators, conducting baseline research, analyzing results, and reviewing findings with LWR staff and partners..