Resilience Lab

The International Resilience Lab collaboratively leads and facilitates socially engaged research and collaboration between the University of Arizona and local and global partners.

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The International Resilience Lab is one of the several centers and programs that make up the Arizona Institute for Resilience. Learn more about IRL's mission, vision, values, and objectives.

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Learn about the team behind the International Resilience Lab as well as their research focuses and achievements.

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IRL is involved in a range of socially-engaged projects. Learn more.

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Learn about recent and upcoming events hosted by the International Resilience Lab and its partners.

Current Projects

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Climate and weather events overlap in space and time to generate impacts that cascade from one sector of society to effect another. This project characterizes the network of the Community-Based Organizations (CBO) working on issues of energy security, public health, and climate adaptation in Puerto Rico; interviews stakeholders to understand research gaps and opportunities; assembles a committed team of CBO leaders to co-create a participatory workshop; and convenes those stakeholders to exchange knowledge. This research expands upon a novel “remote ethnography” approach to develop best practices and tradeoffs in virtual engagement. In totality, the project integrates three linked communities of research and practice using a combination of participatory and virtual engagement methods to produce a learning agenda for future projects and a network from which to develop those projects. This project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Partners include the University of Puerto Rico.

Many resilience-building programs organize and implement interventions following a logic of sequencing, layering, and integration (SLI), often with an emphasis placed on strategies that empower women. However, a lack of evidence on SLI configurations that best achieve resilience outcomes (e.g. food security) limits the efficacy of resilience programming, lowers the long-term benefits of the investments, and undermines the local livelihood goals of the programs. Additionally, while resilience thinking remains focused on external shocks and material well-being, recent theoretical and applied research suggests power relationships, meaning, and access influence the outcomes of external shocks. This project addresses key knowledge gaps in resilience through the lens of SLI and women’s empowerment as they have pertained to the SHOUHARDO programming in the Char and Haor areas in central-north Bangladesh. This project is funded by the Implementer-Led Design, Evidence, Analysis and Learning (IDEAL) activity through USAID. Partners include CARE-Bangladesh.

A major challenge to building climate resilience societies is connecting climate service users to climate services in ways such that individuals across sectors and at varying levels of decision-making processes can access and use climate information. Climate services are scientifically produced products and information that are designed to enhance knowledge about the impacts of the climate, inform climate smart decision-making, and assist climate service users to mitigate and respond to the adverse climate impacts and outcomes The purpose of this study is to learn more about existing and potential opportunities, as well as best practices, for promoting the use of climate information in decision-making processes for the specific sectors of water, food and agriculture, and public health in the Caribbean Region. Outcomes of the project will identify opportunities, challenges, and best practices in stakeholder interactions organized to address climate risks in the sectors of water, food and agriculture, public health, energy, and/or disaster risk reduction. This project is funded by the World Meteorological Organization.

Urban food systems (UFS) in southern Africa comprise a hybrid mix of food sourcing opportunities from formal and informal food retailers, including open-air markets, street vendors, small shops, and supermarkets, as well as household-level strategies, such as urban agriculture and food sharing. Despite this diversity, many low- to middle-income urban households experience high rates of food insecurity due to a lack of sufficient and stable income to purchase adequate amounts of safe and nutritious food to meet their needs. Urban household incomes have become even more variable and unstable because of economic pressures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, food price shocks linked to disrupted food supply chains, and the impacts of climate variability on regional food production. A UAz and southern Africa scholar-practitioner working group will develop a peer-reviewed synthesis paper in a special issue journal, an op-ed, and policy brief to assess the resilience and equitability of UFS in Zambia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Partners include members from the University of Cape Town, University of Zimbabwe, Indiana University, and Zambia Ministry of Agriculture. The working group will attend the Southern African Resilience Academy, which is hosted by the Centre of Sustainability Transitions at Stellenbosch University. The working group is funded by the Global Resilience Partnership.