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Measuring Informal Urban Settlements´ Pathway to Resilience Building
1  GOAL International, Honduras Resilience Unit


More than half of the world´s population (54%) lives in urban areas, due to internal migrations and climate change among other factors. This figure will continue to rise and worsen urban resilience conditions, taking into account that most people migrate into informal urban settlements that increase their vulnerability. Resilience must be based on a profound analysis of who resilience is being built for, resilience to what and through what. Programming for resilience building, decision making or advocacy must be context-specific and evidence based to produce real sustainability through time. The Analysis of the Resilience of Communities to Disasters (ARC-D) Toolkit is a user-friendly tool used in more than 11 countries to measure resilience through in-depth interviews and participative focal group discussions with key community members. The discussion is carried out around 30 key components of resilient communities, grouped in 8 system sectors: economic, environment, political/governance, health, infrastructure, social/cultural, disaster risk management and education. Each component is appraised and assigned a score between five levels of resilience, one being the lowest and depicting minimum resilience and 5, the highest describing maximum resilience. The summative score of all 30 components provides an overall figure of a community´s resilience to a specific risk scenario. GOAL Honduras has been applying the ARC-D toolkit in informal urban settlements in Tegucigalpa since 2015. This research has shown that the smallest administrative levels facilitate the most consensus in terms of resilience measurement and that resilience strategies must be specific for each community. It has also proven that to achieve the maximum level of resilience in informal urban settlements, a systems thinking and social behavior change approach is necessary to guarantee that community members and key systems actors understand root causes, potential barriers and build strong linkages with local authorities to contribute to build resilient cities.

Keywords: community resilience; resilience measurement; social behavior change; systems thinking; informal urban settlements