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Working Paper 316 - Resilience to Diverse Shocks and Stressors in Niger and Ethiopia


The concept of development resilience has become increasingly popular in recent years, in both research and policy circles. The primary regions of focus for resilience analysis and programming are those with both chronic and cyclical problems with food insecurity, that are susceptible to climate volatility (most commonly drought) as well as other shocks and stressors. This research focuses in on two countries that epitomize these concerns–Niger and Ethiopia – and examines the influence of climate and other shocks on indicators on wellbeing through a resilience lens. In particular, we explore the drivers of dynamic wellbeing and the influence of objective and self-reported shocks, and how sensitive those correlations are to the choice of poverty threshold. We also assess the ability of the resilience metric to predict wellbeing out of sample in each context. We find strong associations between climate indicators and wellbeing, though different indicators perform differently across contexts. While there are important differences between countries, and comparability is in many ways limited, there are many common features of households and the environment that are associated with resilience. The metric in turn performs relatively well in predicting wellbeing in subsequent periods, and its structure provides some potential advantages for identifying and/or targeting poor populations.

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