The release of the Resilience Evidence Forum (REF) 2023 Synthesis Report today is hailed as an unprecedented guide for building resilience in a world plagued by mounting crises, including conflicts, pandemics, and climate change.

This report sets a new benchmark, offering comprehensive insights, methodologies, and evidence to address the pressing need for resilience.

As global leaders gather at the United Nations headquarters in New York to kick off the 78th UN General Assembly, scheduled for September 18 to 26, 2023, a significant topic of discussion will centre around Adaptation and Resilience.

This reflects the recognition of progress achieved since the inception of the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda.

In this pivotal week focused on global cooperation and Climate Week NYC, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Resilience Partnership unveiled a groundbreaking report.

The report stands as the most extensive resource to date on methods and evidence for building resilience. It presents case studies rooted in evidence and provides practical guidance on expanding and optimizing long-term resilience efforts, with the aim of informing investment, policy development, and decision-making.

It also encapsulates resilience as the capacity to rebound from adversity, adapt to shocks and stresses, all while facilitating enduring systemic transformations. It offers actionable insights that can inform investments, policy formulation, and decision-making processes.

Drawing from the substantive discussions held at the REF in Cape Town, the report underscores the vital need to build upon existing progress, address identified gaps, acknowledge diverse forms of evidence, and prioritize resilience as a collective aspiration.

The report showcases successful examples of resilience efforts across various sectors and regions, such as strengthening small-holder farmers' resilience through collaboration and implementing climate-smart agriculture practices. These examples demonstrate the growing global focus on resilience-building.

“However, scaling these evidence-based solutions requires a significant increase in finance. Annual spending on climate resilience alone is less than $50 billion, a mere fraction of the estimated $160 billion to $340 billion required. The private sector contributes just 2% to this insufficient pool, making resilience gains fragile and susceptible to setbacks like those witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” part of the report said.

The report emphasizes the need for relevant and actionable evidence to secure the necessary funding for resilience programs on a significant scale. This requirement also extends to policymaking, where evidence must be rigorous, reliable, and directly applicable to influence policies and decisions effectively.

The report underscores the significance of diverse evidence, including locally grounded knowledge and experience, to fortify global resilience endeavors in the face of escalating threats. This approach aims to bridge the gap between local realities and global goals, creating a stronger and more resilient global community.

Dr. Nathanial Matthews, the CEO of the Global Resilience Partnership, stressed that unless there is fair and substantial collaboration and a dedication to evidence-driven decision-making, policy formulation, and investment, we will encounter obstacles in safeguarding and nurturing environments and communities that can thrive amidst shifting and unpredictable circumstances.

“The Resilience Evidence Forum was a significant moment for taking stock of where we are and where we need to go in strengthening resilience.” – Dr Matthews said.

Co-hosted by USAID and the Global Resilience Partnership, the REF event marked the first such gathering in half a decade, bringing together over 1,000 participants spanning from the private sector to academic institutions, NGOs, and local community groups.

“At USAID we will continue to promote convenings like the Forum, to learn more about what others are doing and learning, and promote collaboration and partnership needed to drive equitable growth and well-being in an increasingly unpredictable world.” – Dina Esposito, Feed the Future Deputy Coordinator for Development and USAID Global Food Crisis Coordinator

Dina Esposito, the Deputy Coordinator for Development at Feed the Future and USAID's Global Food Crisis Coordinator, emphasized the pressing need to become more agile and efficient in understanding what strategies are effective in building resilience, especially given the increasing frequency, severity, and overlap of climate and other shocks.

“It is very important that the stories of resilience get told in the language of those impacted the most and that we learn to work with those stories, pull out what we need from that and don’t take a top-down approach to resilience evidence.” – Dr Shehnaaz Moosa, Director, South South North.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.