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Africa Economic Brief - Volume 8 Issue 10 - Estimating Development Resilience: A Conditional Moments-Based Approach


Natural disasters, food price and other economic shocks, and conflict have resulted in recurring humanitarian emergencies in many of the world’s lowest income countries. In direct response, international development and relief agencies have recently become focused on the concept of resilience, committing increasingly large amounts of funding, programming, and research toward “building resilience.” They struggle, however, to define the concept rigorously in order to guide policy and project design, measure progress, and evaluate interventions. In his seminal work on poverty measurement, Sen (1979) discusses the need for both poverty “identification” (i.e., determining who is poor) and “aggregation” (i.e., establishing how characteristics of the poor can be combined into an aggregate indicator) to guide policy. The emergent development resilience agenda has similar measurement needs.

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