During the engaging discussion of the first annual “State of African Resilience” Report, H.E. Ambassador (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) commended the work being done by Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He noted; “I love the ResilientAfrica Network, in this report, they have provided data in 16 African communities, around various pressing issues that can help inform policy makers, donors, and implementers”. ThatRAN’s work is closely related to what IGAD and its partners are doing. IGAD is committed to working with RAN in an effort to strengthen resilience in Africa and beyond. The combination of science, research and technology is what will yield us tangible results in what we are all trying to do to address communities’ challenges.
This event organized in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) brought together over 100 participants including; United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Makerere University, Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA), University of Nairobi, Benadir University, World Food Program (WFP), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), World Bank, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Africa Development Bank, CARE, Save the Children, Norwegian Refugee Council, Plan International, Science Africa, Swedish Government, Oxfam, Department for International Development (DFID), European Union, Islamic Relief Worldwide, UN Women, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Plan International, Building Resilience Communities in Somalia (BRiCS), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Somalia Resilience Program (SomReP), and the media among others.
While moderating the panel that extensively discussed the State of African Resilience report at the event, Prof. Ky Luu RAN Co-Chief of Party; Executive Director and Clinical Associate Professor, Tulane/DRLA emphasized that “We cannot approach the work related to resilience in only one way thus the need to uphold partnership, explore and employ new/different approaches to resilience”.
Prof. William Bazeyo, Dean Makerere University School of Public Health/RAN Chief of Party/Lab Director with pleasure and enthusiasm handed over a copy of the report to Dr. John Kabayo, Coordinator, Platform Coordination Unit, IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI). In his remarks, Dr. Kabayo said, “I have the honor to receive the first State of African Resilience Report on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, I implore all to effectively use this rich report to inform work around strengthening resilience and particularly developing innovative solutions to respond to communities’ most pressing challenges. The uniqueness of this report is that it amplifies the community voices in regards to the challenges that we should prioritize responding to”.
The State of African Resilience report highlights findings from the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), www.ranlab.org a partnership targeting 20 sub-Saharan African universities supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by Makerere University in Uganda, together with Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA), Stanford University, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the United States. RAN is one of the eight development labs under the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) in the US Global Development lab (http://www.usaid.gov/hesn).
“The State of African Resilience: Understanding Dimensions of Vulnerability and Adaptation,” http://www.ranlab.org/resources/publications further identifies major dimensions of resilience from the perspective of more than a dozen vulnerable communities across sub-Saharan Africa. The report is based on the research and analysis of the RAN, a partnership that includes fifteen African universities that are engaging with local communities to inform the data in the report and understand how best to prevent, mitigate, and overcome the recurrent shocks and stresses to which they are most vulnerable. The report provides a deeper understanding of the dimensions of resilience, their multi-dimemssionality and how they are driven and contextualized to allow the voice of the community to be expressed. How are the dimenssions different in several communities thus informing the work of resilience. “The RAN framework for resilience allows us to look at dimensions of resilience and the relation between all these several domains of life and livelihood”, Prof. Ky Luu RAN Co-Chief of Party; Executive Director and Clinical Associate Professor, Tulane/DRLA.
How are communities in Uganda contending with the effects of post-conflict recovery and climate variability? “One of the contributions that RAN will make to the continent and to the global society will be the richness of the data that we’re bringing, and the representation of voices from the community in the first annual State of African Resilience Report”, Dorothy Okello, RAN Director Innovation. And how are communities in Ethiopia and Somalia addressing the impact of drought and chronic displacement on local communities and regional dynamics?
RAN brings together faculty, students, and community members to develop interventions designed to increase resilience capacity at the community level and, more broadly, making its data publicly available to allow for development practitioners in the future to more easily identify the vulnerabilities and existing capacities of communities. “RAN is not re-inventing the wheel in the field of resilience and innovation but rather building on the existing. Let us all join efforts to further encourage the young innovators, students, faculty and the community to translate knowledge into innovative solutions to address communities’ most pressing challenges several of which are highlighted in the State of African Resilience Report” Prof. William Bazeyo, Dean Makerere University School of Public Health/ RAN Chief of Party and Lab Director.