ALLMARK, Peter, BHANBHRO, Sadiq and CHRISP, Tom (2013). RESILIENT ROTHERHAM? Project Report. NHS Rotherham. (Unpublished)

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The notion of community resilience is complicated in part because both terms have many aspects. We have distinguished three types of community: of purpose, such as a political association, of culture, such as religion and of locality, such as a neighbourhood. Our primary interest in this report is with communities of locality. We have suggested a three-faceted model of resilience in which it is described as: of something, to something (a stressor), to an endpoint. Thus (local) community resilience is: of a neighbourhood or locality, to a stressor, such as an earthquake, to an endpoint, such as back-to-normal. The stressors faced by a community can be acute, such as an earthquake or the shutdown of a local employer, or chronic, such as long-term poverty and unemployment. Community resilience is most easily seen in relation to acute stressors in part because both the stressor and endpoint are fairly clear. It is less clear with chronic stressors mainly because the endpoint cannot be back-to-normal. We therefore suggested a distinction between as-you-were and as-you-should-be endpoints. An example of as-you-should-be resilience is where someone becomes a well-functioning adult despite abuse as a child. In relation to communities of locality, the as-you-should-be endpoint is roughly that they will provide places which enable rather than impede their members to live well, to flourish and to be happy. A local community is resilient to the extent that it does this in the face of stressors, such as poverty. Resilient communities can be identified by combining measures of individual wellbeing, such as quality of life and health, with indicators of stressors, such as deprivation. A resilient community is one that is deprived but in which people do better than average in regard to these measures. This method of identifying resilient communities is an outlier method; it depends on finding those better than average. One problem with this is that it does not give an objective measure of resilience; we could use it only to show that one community has become more resilient in relation to another, not that it has become more resilient per se. Final v7 23 This problem links to a more general problem with the literature on measuring, characterising and enhancing community resilience. This is that insufficient distinction is made between measures of how well people within a community are doing, i.e. their wellbeing, and of how resilient they are, i.e. their wellbeing given particular stressors. Thus most of the measures we identified in the literature as possible contributors to resilience were more like contributors to wellbeing. For example, measures to improve the built environment or social networks are better characterised as enhancing social capital and wellbeing rather than resilience. In practice, there seems likely to be a link between resilience and wellbeing. An individual or community without resilience to likely challenges would have precarious wellbeing.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Depositing User: Sadiq Bhanbhro
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 09:33
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 03:34

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