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    A Multidimensional Approach for Measuring Resilience Oxfam GB Working Paper Oxfam GB August, 2013   Abstract: T here is currently a wave of enthusiasm for “building resilience”  in the international humanitarian and development sectors. This has coincided with a number of attempts to both define what resilience is and devise ways of measuring it. However, rather than comprehensively reviewing these attempts, the paper presents Oxfam GB’s own approach for both understanding and measuring resilience. It begins by interrogating the essence of resilience and substantiating its multidimensional nature. This is followed by describing the conceptual framework underlying the approach and how it applies the Alkire-Foster method used in the measurement of multidimensional constructs, such as poverty and women’s empowerment . Thereafter, the approach’s utility in informing situational analyses, outcome tracking, and impact evaluations is described, using primary data collected from an agro-pastoral population residi ng in Ethiopia’s Somali Region. A critical review of its strengths and limitations then follows.  1 Contents 1. Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 2 2. An expanded and multidimensional understanding of resilience for humanitarian and development contexts .................................................................................................................... 3 3. Oxfam GB’s conceptual framework for measuring resilience  ........................................................ 4 4. Applying the Alkire-Foster method to the conceptual framework ................................................. 6 4.1 A brief introduction to the Alkire-Foster method ......................................................................... 6 4.2 Application to resilience measurement framework ..................................................................... 7 5. Potential applications using data from Ethiopia’s Somali Region  .................................................. 9 5.1 Informing situational analyses and monitoring change over time ............................................... 9 5.2 Use in impact evaluations ........................................................................................................... 11 6. Critical review of the strengths and limitations of the approach ................................................. 12 7. Further work and conclusion ........................................................................................................ 13 7.1 Further work ............................................................................................................................... 13 7.2 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................... 14 References ............................................................................................................................................ 15 APPENDIX 1: Specific Resilience Characteristics Used in the Ethiopia Somali Region Agro-Pastoral Impact Evaluation Study ....................................................................................................................... 16 APPENDIX 2: Cut-offs and Weights Used for Each Characteristic in Ethiopia Somali Region Agro-Pastoral Impact Evaluation ................................................................................................................... 17 APPENDIX 3: Percentage of Weighted Characteristics Surveyed Households in Ethiopia's Somali Region are Non-deprived in with Absolute Contribution of Each Characteristic ................................. 19 APPENDIX 4: Covariates Used in Analysis of Ethiopia Somali Region Dataset ..................................... 20  2 1.   Introduction Given the increased frequency and scale of both natural and human induced disasters and shocks in recent years (IPCC 2012) , there is currently a wave of enthusiasm for “building   resilience”. Indeed, it is hoped that, through the undertaking of such efforts, the negative impacts of such disasters and shocks will be less severe. Some even see resilience as something that goes beyond helping poor people to “bounce back” . On the contrary, for many humanitarian and development actors, resilient households and communities are those that are effectively working themselves out of poverty for the long-haul, in spite of any immediate setbacks they may face. Notwithstanding the growing enthusiasm for promoting resilience, there is currently no agreement on how this construct is defined, let alone how it can be measured (Mayunga 2007). However, the focus of this paper is not to review the various attempts made thus far to do so. Rather, its purpose is to present Oxfam GB’s own conceptual framework for both understanding and measuring resilience. It is important to note that while the conceptual framework presented in this working paper represents a genuine attempt to improve our cross-sectoral programming, it is very much a work in progress and the approach outlined and findings presented represent work to-date on a very live and dynamic initiative. It is clear that stronger empirical evidence illustrating what factors consistently contribute to resilience, to what types of shocks and in what contexts, will enhance the characteristics approach presented here and it is our intent to invest in learning, refinement and development as the body of research on the determinants of resilience and adaptive capacity grows. Such evidence can be used both for planning and programming purposes as well as for assessing programme impact. The utility of the characteristics approach as a programme design and/or outcome monitoring tool has, not as yet been “tested” and this is therefore, an area for further work. Further limitations that are being addressed include exploring pragmatic ways of better theoretically and empirically validating the part icular set of “resilience characteristics” defined for a particular context. This is to be complemented with identifying improved ways of measuring many of the characteristics as well as strengthening aspects of governance and power relations within and outside the community and gender within the framework dimensions. More work is needed, particularly on how this can be made practical. We will continue to test the assumption that it is possible to have a consistent approach to measuring resilience and we recognise the need to consider broader contextual dynamics in levels above the household and community and the challenge this poses in terms of any measurement approach. The resilience dimensions have been used to frame the internal debate on resilience and have helped to identify gaps in Oxfam's current programming. We recognise the need to develop the framework further and continue efforts to enhance a ‘ one-programme approach ’.  The working paper is presented in six sections follow this introduction. Section 2 starts by laying the paper’s foundation by interrogating the essence of resilience and substantiating its multidimensional nature. This is followed by Section 3, where Oxfam GB’s conceptual framework for measuring resilience is presented. This framework makes use of the Alkire-Foster method used by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and other organisations to measure multidimensional constructs, such as poverty and women’s empowerment . Consequently, Section 4 is devoted to explaining this approach and how it is applied to the framework. Section 5 follows by presenting the potential applications of the approach in informing situational analyses, outcome tracking, and impact evaluations. This is done using primary data collected from an agro-pastoral population residing in Ethiopia’s Somali R egion. Section 6 then follows with a critical review of the strengths and limitations of the approach, while Section 7 offers suggestions for further work and concludes the paper.
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