Disaster insurance: propaganda or the future of aid?

Could disaster insurance be the future of aid? Anna Warwick summarises the debate on the role of insurance to build resilience in disaster prone areas. From one of the sessions which took place at the Oxfam hosted Resilient Solutions symposium. Theresa May recently stated that disaster insurance programmes were the ‘future of aid.’ After seeing the panel on Weather Insurance …

Decision-making for an uncertain future

Lisa Horrocks, Principal Climate Resilience Consultant at Mott MacDonald, comments on some initiatives tackling the issue around long term climate change solutions.  Wherever we are in the world, economic development requires us to take decisions which either have short or very long lifetimes. Long lifetime decisions can be extremely costly and risky, especially with shifting baselines. This is the situation with …

Does resilience thinking help or hinder urban development?

As climate and weather-related risks increase in urban areas, resilience discourses and ideas have gained traction in urban development policy. Arabella Fraser, Research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute and Richard Friend, Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of York, explore the complexities of urban development and resilience. Is resilience thinking a help or a hindrance? And how can …

We need to flip science on its head

In her opening speech at the Resilient Solutions symposium Professor Rosalind Cornforth, Director of the Walker Institute, challenged the development community to make science fit for purpose by taking it out of the laboratory and into the field. Here is a summary of the speech. As a third year doctorate student in African meteorology I travelled to Senegal for my …

Climate insurance: closing the protection or the resilience gap?

Does climate insurance work as a catalyst for climate risk management and sustainable development? Or is insurance deflecting attention from other disaster risk management solutions? Swenja Surminski, Senior Research Fellow at the London School for Economics, argues there is no simple answer. Risks are rising and there is low usage of insurance The devastating impacts of natural disasters are seen …

Under pressure: building resilience into water systems

With global water resources increasingly stretched, how do we ensure that building resilience into water systems in not an afterthought? This is the question we put to the audience at the recent Resilient Solutions Symposium hosted by Oxfam and the Oxford University Department for International Development. We kicked off by hearing from three speakers on the complex environmental challenges and …

Transformational climate adaptation: beyond business-as-usual

People around the world are faced with the challenge of adapting to changing climatic conditions, but what happens when small changes are not enough or are not even possible? Nick Brooks, Director of Garama 3C Ltd makes the case for transformational adaptation. Most of today’s adaptation interventions involve incremental approaches intended to protect and sustain existing systems and practices, rather …

Does knowledge matter in setting the development agenda?

Are marginalised people being overlooked in decision making processes around development and adaptation? Daniel Morchain reflects on the relationship between knowledge and power to influence outcomes. The more I think about development challenges, and the more I see and hear people talking about them, the more I think they come down to a struggle between knowledge and power. Knowledge in the …

What can resilience do for us?

How can we use resilience to do development and humanitarian work differently and in ways that truly make societies work for and with people living in poverty? Helen Jeans, Oxfam’s Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation Adviser, explains why Oxfam is hosting a symposium on resilience and invites you to join the event in Oxford from 27-28 June 2017.   There …