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Keywords:

  • development;
  • resilience;
  • poverty;
  • pro-poor interventions;
  • vulnerability;
  • adaptation;
  • transformation

Abstract

Resilience has become prominent in academia where it is used as a central framework in disciplines such as ecology, climate change adaptation or urban planning. Policy makers and international development agencies also increasingly refer to it. The objective of this paper is to assess the advantages and limits of resilience in the context of development. Although the review highlights some positive elements—for example, the ability to foster an integrated approach—it also shows that resilience has important limitations. In particular, it is not a pro-poor concept, in the sense that it does not exclusively apply to, or benefit, the poor. As such, resilience building cannot replace poverty reduction. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.