Building the Economic Resilience
of Vulnerable Communities

Why Economic Resilience?

A critical component for building resilient communities is building their economic resilience. Community Action Collab’s (CAC) Economic Resilience Impact Canvas builds the resilience of vulnerable populations by enabling them to withstand any humanitarian crisis. The Impact Canvas is co-creating interventions within a community of various service providers, government agencies, financial entities, and civil societies. The initiative is about building resilience in a manner that restores hope and power within the hands of vulnerable communities.

While economic resilience needs to be achieved at the family level, there is a need to work within and beyond the family. Together with the partners and advisors of the Impact Canvas, CAC has established an evolving framework with four key approaches to building economic resilience i.e. Conservation, Diversification, Aggregation, and Risk Pooling (CDAR).

Economic resilience is more than just facilitating services to vulnerable populations; it is also about instilling hope and aspirations, cultivating an opportunity mindset, gaining the ability to make and shape decisions, and so on. To successfully implement this, it is essential that the work is done collaboratively with the Government, Private Sector, Civil Society Organisation and Communities who need to be at the centre.

CDAR Framework

1. Conservation

Focus on protecting the existing resources and sources of income and reducing expenses by meeting the basic needs.

Reduce expenses

Through initiatives like providing access to social protection schemes like PDS, MGNREGA job cards, housing schemes, scholarships, and health insurances to meet expenses of day-to-day life.

Protect the resources and sources of income of the poor

This could be achieved through drought-proofing of farms, insuring assets or vaccination of livestock and immunisation of children, etc.

2. Diversification

Bring in more income-generating aspects to the existing source of income and reduce the risk of one source being affected by a shock.

Help the family save and build a larger diverse asset base

In the short run, cash, livestock, chits, etc. could be built and in the long run assets like gold/durables/house/education of children, etc.

Help the family have multiple revenue sources

This could be wages, nano- enterprises, skill development, pensions, remittances, govt transfers, assets which are different risk factors.

3. Aggregation

Coming together to create better social capacity through collective voices and better negotiation of interests among different actors

Aggregation and organisation around production

Higher income to smallholders/labourers can be realised when they lower input cost, negotiate with scale in the market, etc.

Collective identity around social groupings

Changes in social terms comes when one gets social status and able to get mutual support system to address adversaries.

Collective voices

Building capacity of the communities to voice their collective opinions, demands and bring power to influence decision making agencies.

4. Risk Pooling

Build mechanisms to reduce risks to income sources and assets. This includes creating social and physical resources to manage risks and mitigating them.

Set up informal insurance mechanisms

Friendly neighbours, helpful relatives, benefactors/patrons to help when risk hits.

Set up formal insurance mechanisms

To ensure pooling of risks and help in adversity is a right because one is part of the pool.

Partners Anchoring Economic Resilience

The Pilot is led by Vrutti and funded by Skoll Foundation and Vitol Foundation. The implementing partners are Head Held High, Transform Rural India Foundation, and Gopabandu Seva Parishad.

Stories of Resilience

The Story of M.Bharati

From natural disasters to devastating epidemics, M.Bharati has seen, and survived, it all at the young age of 23 years. A resident of the Chepala Chennabai Baraf in Penthakata,...

Addressing Social Issues through Wall Art

A boat laborer by circumstances and profession, Yatin Chappale resorted to alcohol consumption as a way of weathering the choppy waters of life.  Yatin started off as a boat owner, making a living and supporting his family...

Art for Change

A 35-year-old fisherman by profession, Muthi Srinu had always known that his income of INR 10,000-15,000 per month was meager, but was sufficient to lead a quality of life that was much better than others...

An Economic Resilience Pilot

The pandemic has not only impacted lives by affecting people’s health, but also unearthed certain systemic issues that have disproportionately affected the lower income populations…

Educating the Way Ahead

As the world outside slowly falls into a lull, and her family unwinds for the night, Seeta* Solanki, a student of MA English, starts studying and preparing for her classes, till 11 pm, using her mobile phone...