Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) at the Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Week in Nairobi, Kenya December 5-9, 2016

‘Translating Resilience Data into Innovations’

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office organized and hosted The Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Week from the December 5th –9th 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. In relation to RAN’s agenda, the event showcased and demonstrated the importance of resilience in enabling people, entities, and communities to survive, adapt, and thrive in the midst of shocks and stresses that face Africa today. The week begun with a three-day event starting with an optional one-day field visit to sites in Nairobi where resilience-building was experienced first-hand, followed by a two-day convening where participants had an the opportunity to LEARN(deepen knowledge and understanding of resilience) EXPERIENCE (Learn from first-hand examples of resilience practice, with demonstrable impact), ENGAGE ( Interact and share knowledge) and  NETWORK (Meet resilience leaders and kick-start potential partnerships). Participants discussed and explored the shocks and stresses facing Africa, and engaged with leading innovators and change-makers to address the identified problems. The Rockefeller Foundation was an early leader in identifying the global need for resilience. Over the last decade, the Foundation has invested more than a half-billion USD to help both cities and communities build their economic, social and climate resilience. These investments include work across Africa to help cities, communities, and people better adapt to shocks and stresses, including a snapshot of Rockefeller Foundation investments that contributed to the discussions.

ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) on invitation as resilience experts was represented by Dr. Roy William Mayega RAN Deputy Chief of Party and Mr. Nathan Tumuhamye Director Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab. This was a rich opportunity for RAN to showcase its approach to resilience assessment and how the data collected so far is linked to innovations. RAN also shared about the experience Universities have gathered in advancing the resilience agenda using the case of ResilientAfrica Network Universities. RAN participated on two panels one on resilience measurements which was about information management for use and adaptation, unlocking information to increase resilience, spotlighting innovative information generation, analytics and use. The other Panel was about Building the Field of Resilience. The panel on building the field of resilience involved discussions to explore how different organizations can contribute to building effective mechanisms and structures necessary for building a cohesive field to propel resilience on the continent and beyond. RAN also participated in the RESILIENCE ACADEMY (8th-9th December 2016). Resilience Academy is an initiative of The Rockefeller Foundation, where Foundation grantees and subject matter experts participated in a two-day Resilience Academy on December 5th and 9th following the Resilience Week convening.  The Academy offered attendees the chance to apply learnings from the Resilience Week convening while gaining technical skills to build the capacity of organizations and program teams in incorporating resilience principles into project design and implementation. The discussions focused on maximizing the resilience value of real life case studies in various contexts from the continent, including ongoing Foundation grants and urban resilience.

The Resilience week attracted over 60 experts from 17 countries. In addition to widely sharing about the network’s progress to-date, the RAN team also used this opportunity to hold side meetings with Nancy MacPherson Managing Director, Evaluation, The Rockefeller Foundation to discuss partnerships and prospects of Resilience Community of Practice in Africa.

The conversation was live on Twitter #ResWeek.