Forging Resilience: Defining Next Steps and Building on Initial Gains

IBTCI, along with partner organizations including the Resilience Learning Consortium, is 
organizing an inter-disciplinary symposium to facilitate collaboration and sharing of ideas within 
this field of study. 

This symposium brings together new papers and ideas about innovations toward best practices 
in resilience. Experts will distill from their field experience to identify the key elements of 
resilience in program designs, drawing from ecology, agriculture, food chains, health, disaster 
risk reduction, psychology and other disciplines.

As “resilience” becomes more and more discussed as a goal of foreign assistance, there is an 
ever-greater need to understand what is actually new and distinctive about it, necessary for its 
measurement. As such, this symposium builds on a series of roundtables, workshops and panels that IBTCI has been involved in bringing together practitioners, funders, evaluators, sociologists, and creative thinkers to share ideas in re-thinking international aid toward the goal of building resilience where we work. 

Building on the December, 2013 World Vision/Wilson Center Roundtable “Next Generation 
Resilience,” experts will compare and explore field approaches about how to bridge the divide 
between humanitarian and development aid as well as how to recognize, measure, and interpret 
resilience, including “what’s really new.” Discussants will explore how resilience applies in 
the arenas of fragile states, violent conflict, sustainability, and urban settings. Discussants are 
invited to draw out lessons from Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Nepal, Burma, the 
Sahel, Syria, Colombia, Honduras and other countries receiving foreign assistance.
The symposium also is aimed to bring together a balance between programmers and evaluators,
and explore how theories of change can be tested to understand how resilience is achieved.

For more information, please contact James O’Leary (, Taylor 
Rockoff( or Steve Hansch (


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