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The goal of building resilience

We talk a great deal about resilience in relation to this project, but what exactly is resilience? Put simply, it's a process to enhance the ability of communities to anticipate, organise for, and adapt to shocks and stresses.

A positive circle
By putting power in the hands of poor and marginalised people, we believe we can promote a positive circle, whereby people are supported to improve their lives, capitalise on opportunities, while simultaneously managing risks that threaten them.

In particular it shifts community dialogue, from simply focusing on urgent humanitarian needs to focusing on longer term change and what communities can do themselves to support this transition.

It helps rebuild the social fabric of a community by catalysing community action and interaction and empowers individuals and communities to play a leading role in effecting the change they want to see. 

In the context of the project in Myanmar, the external risks caused by conflict and political unrest are considerable. It is a vital and truly transformational approach – one which is about moving beyond a reliance on aid, towards the building of an empowered community which is able to take control of its own long-term development, and advocate for its own needs.

To find out more, watch this short video interview with Christian Aid Country Manager, Mani Kumar.

Watch: a video message for ITL supporters

To find out more, watch this short video interview with Christian Aid Country Manager, Mani Kumar.

The change we want to see

Our aim is that 19,000 community members across two states in Myanmar will have improved access to essential services in health, protection, nutrition and livelihoods as a direct result of this project.

Anticipated impacts include:

  • Improved community knowledge of health, economic and social services, how to access these services and their increased utilisation, through innovative use of social media which will develop effective referral channels
  • Communities that are much better prepared to respond to risks they face in their daily lives through early warning systems and strengthened community preparedness. This will mean that they have access to timely information on health, climate and conflict risks and are better equipped to respond accordingly
  • Community and women-led enterprises and business plans will be initiated, and financial capacity, access to markets and access to finance will be enhanced. This will lead to improvements in the ability of these communities to respond to economic shocks in future
  • Community-led action plans and advocacy will leverage more resources into communities. It will also lead to wider changes, ensuring that the voice of poor and marginalised groups is prioritised in national level debates on universal health coverage, and implementation of the National Health Plan
  • Lessons learnt from this project and specifically how we can integrate humanitarian work, long-term development and peace building together to achieve greater change, will enable us better serve conflict-affected communities globally in future.

The project design is informed by the experience from our last ITL project in Myanmar.

The end-of-project assessment helped identify that peace-building and enhanced access to services are intrinsically linked, and that a multi-layered approach is likely to achieve the greatest and most sustainable change for communities.

Project status update, Spring 2021

Over the last month you will no doubt have heard the news of the spiralling violence in Myanmar. We remain deeply concerned at the rising number of innocent civilian lives which have been lost.

Daily life has become increasingly difficult, with the freedom of movement impaired and personal safety in jeopardy. Men, women and children live with constant terror and in fear for their lives as peaceful protests continue in order to restore a semblance of democracy.

It is imperative that the international community speaks and acts for justice and peace for all those caught up in the current situation.

We affirm with our partners the urgent need for a cessation of violence and a return to a democratically accountable government.

We stand in solidarity with our partners as they seek to bring relief and hope to the most vulnerable communities.

We remain strong in our commitment to the ITL project, which is about enabling communities to respond and thrive in a challenging and volatile situation.


Next steps

However, in order to allow time for the team to adapt to the unfolding situation and to revise our project plans accordingly, we have pushed back the project start until August 2021.

Should there be any changes in these plans due to the unfolding political situation, we will let you know immediately.

Thank you for your support of this vital work.