Report|Why inequality matters to resilience: Just resilience in the Delta

New GovernEUR research report commissioned by Resilient Delta, sheds light on the need for inclusive approaches

In today’s world, where numerous crises such as climate change, energy scarcity, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inflation persist, building resilience has become a key priority. But what does resilience actually mean when not everyone has equal opportunities to be resilient? 

A stressor does not happen to everyone equally. Stressors, by definition, have unequal effects on people. Inequality magnifies the impact of stressors and intensifies the vulnerabilities of individuals and communities. This realization calls for a comprehensive approach that acknowledges and addresses existing inequalities. GovernEUR was commissioned by the Resilient Delta Initiative to conduct a study titled “Why inequality matters to resilience: Just resilience in the Delta” to shed light on the intricate relationship between social resilience and inequality.

Understanding the Tensions Between Resilience and Inequality

The research conducted by GovernEUR delves into the relationship between social resilience and inequality, focusing on the context of the Delta region. The study highlights seven mechanisms that expose the inherent tensions between resilience and inequality. These mechanisms underscore the pressing need for a concept called “just resilience,” which emphasizes equal access to resources while simultaneously acknowledging that existing inequalities hinder positive impacts for everyone.

Unveiling the Principles of Just Resilience

The study’s findings lay the groundwork for a new paradigm of just resilience, providing crucial insights for policymakers, researchers, and designers of welfare policies. GovernEUR’s research team identifies a set of principles that can guide the development, design, and evaluation of future initiatives aimed at fostering just resilience. These principles advocate for a comprehensive and inclusive approach that recognizes and seeks to redress inequalities. By incorporating these principles, policymakers can create more effective and equitable strategies to build resilience within communities.

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