Understanding and Building Resilience in Developing Countries


Resilience in the last decade has moved from a peripheral ecological idea to a central concept in major world debates; e.g. Sustainable Development Goals, climate change adaptation, resilient infrastructure and ecosystems. 


What makes a person or a community resilient to the impacts of climate change? How has the resilience approach been operationalized in the fields of sustainability, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation? What are the limitations and critiques of resilience thinking, and how might this concept evolve in the future? As development and government agencies aggressively adopt the resilience approach, students interested in pursuing careers across a range of business, environmental, and development sectors will increasingly find themselves faced with these questions. This course will prepare students to understand the theory of resilience and operationalize it in a given context.  


The Resilience course will introduce students to an interdisciplinary understanding of resilience theory and practice, with a focus on its application to various shocks, especially climate change with a developing countries perspective. It will provide students with a framework for resilience thinking, and the knowledge and tools to apply these concepts in the field. The first portion of the course explores the theoretical foundation of resilience thinking. The second part of the course dives into the application of resilience concepts around the world, with an emphasis on case studies; resilience critiques and limitations; and frameworks for operationalising resilience. In a final paper, students will apply resilience thinking to a chosen topic of interest to get a firsthand experience of using resilience concepts on new regions and challenges.

Course description

Find full course description in the course catalogue