Asia Pacific, Climate Change

5 Minutes of Inspiration: How does introducing yourself build resilience to climate change?

Emily Janoch | Jun 02, 2017


This article was originally published on and is republished with permission

Women in Nepal think that the ability to stand up in meetings is their biggest resilience success. Find out why.

Ramala says that the biggest difference in her life since she started working with CARE’s Hariyo Ban program is that “Now I can stand up in meetings and introduce myself—something I was never able to do before. After 16 weeks of gender training, not only can I introduce myself, but I can be a leader. I am the treasurer of this Community Forest User Group. Before, I would not have even come to meetings, or would have stayed silent. It’s not just this group. I can use tools like Facebook to reach even farther. We are working with the government, and more people want to get engaged in our community because of how successful and integrated our group is.”

Ramala is one of dozens of people CARE staff met last week at the FNS and Climate Change Learning Event in Nepal. 65 CARE staff from more than 20 countries went on field visits to see what our resilience work is all about. Then we got together to talk about what impacts we’re seeing in other countries. So how does CARE build resilience?

What have we accomplished?

  • Increased cash savings: In Sudan’s Resilience in the Horn project, VSLA groups went from having zero cash savings to up to $5,800 for a group in under a year. These savings mean that families can replace assets, buy extra food, and absorb shocks.
  • Families bounce back after crisis: In periods of political unrest, producers in Bangladesh’s Strengthening Dairy Value Chains project saw a production drop by 3.8% and were able to return to pre-crisis levels in 2 weeks. Non SDVC families took 7 weeks to recover, and had production fall by 7.1%.
  • Increased food security: Even in times of stress, 58% of families in Bangladesh’s SETU project were able to eat 3 meals a day.
  • Improve production, even in drought years: Although the El Nino droughts have reduced production on some crops this year, Guatemala’s Nourishing the Future project was still able to produce more than 1,500 metric tons of fruits and vegetables so far, and yields for this year were higher in Nourishing the Future communities than the national average. In Malawi, Pathways communities saw their production stay constant, even when neighbours experienced a 30—50% drop.
  • Save governments money on rebuilding: In Niger, investing in Community Based Adaptation and Participatory Scenario Planning showed that for every $1 invested in community resilience, the government was able to avoid $4 of losses.

How did we get there?

  • Help women get a seat at the table: For the first time ever, Vanuatu took women to UN Climate talks. From a base of zero female representatives before, half of the delegation in Warsaw was women. Women were also instrumental on steering committees to change three key national climate policies.
  • Build links between communities and governments: 2,014 community members (48% minorities and 52% women) in Vietnam’s ICAM project were able to participate directly in planning processes with their governments.
  • Get people access to climate information: In Zimbabwe’s ENSURE project, 30% of project participants are receiving climate information to make decisions, and 38% of families are taking on at least one climate risk reduction behaviour.
  • Focus on advocacy: The Adaptation and Learning Program, worked with the New Economics Foundation to create modelling to estimate the benefits of Community Based Adaptation. They used a Social Cost Benefit Analysis and some statistical modelling to prove impact. As a result, CBA/PSP methods have been adopted in 135 communities and 8 countries.

Want to learn more?

Check out all of the links in this e-mail, or look at the Learning Event Website to see more. You can also check at

Special Thanks

Hariyo Ban is a project that CARE implements as a sub-grantee to the World Wildlife Foundation, with funding from USAID. Huge thanks to the CARE Nepal team for all of their work in hosting the event.


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