Community resilience

What is community resilience?

Increasing awareness starts from the perspective of FRM authorities providing more and better information about flood risk. Community resilience is both a function of the collection of individuals who comprise it and emergent properties that are dependent on social capital, social/cultural values, and practices, including duties to family members, the role of authorities within the community, trust, level of engagement and ethical norms (Etkin, 2016). Nine core elements determine community resilience as it applies to disasters: local knowledge, community networks and relationships, communication, health, governance and leadership, resources, economic investment, preparedness, and mental outlook (Patel et al., 2017).

Community resilience and FRAMES

11 pilots in FRAMES involve and empower community groups in flood risk management actions:

How is community resilience linked to the layers of MLS?

The community resilience pilots benefits the other layers of the MLS approach:

  • Layer 2, spatial adaptation: improve the zoning of flood prone areas implementing water storage measures at household level (natural flood management, water butts, raised flower beds, flood barriers in front of the door)
  • Layer 3, emergency management: raising flood risk awareness leads to capacity building among farmers/landowners for flood preparedness.
  • Layer 4, resilient recovery: when flood preparedness measures are taken, community resilience is enhanced which in turn improves flood recovery. 

Lessons learnt

For a full list of the main lessons learnt from the pilots working on community resilience, please click here.

Relevant adaptive capacities

To accomplish actions successfully, certain capacities are more needed than others. More specifically: the combination of flood risk management strategies in response to climate change depends on the adaptation space and capacity of institutions (Berkhout, Hertin and Gann, 2006). Since institutions have the ability to stimulate the capacity of  a society to adapt to climate change from the local to the national level (Gupta et al., 2010), stakeholders and organizations involved in FRAMES focused on the development of adaptive capacities at local and regional level.

The adaptive capacities that were employed and developed during the pilot projects working on community resilience are shown in the spiderweb below. We will provide more detail for those capacities that significantly increased during the pilots.

Community resilience.pngFigure 1: Development of adaptive capacities in community resilience

  • Diversity of solutions: think outside the box. Community groups in these pilots implemented a variety of solutions at different scales to increase their flood resilience: from NFM interventions such as pond to and water storage devices such as water butts and raised flower beds.
  • Act according to plan: prepare plans and stick to them. In Germany (Wesermarsch) flood preparedness manuals were developed for farmers to increase their self-capacity to deal with floods.
  • Human resources and accountability: increasing community resilience is a participatory process and requires takes time, energy and switching from a single to a shared responsibility.
  • Collaborative leadership: increasing community resilience means involving multiple actors, such as representatives from the spatial planning and water management. The actors need to have an open mind and share their own interests and perspectives about a certain problem. This could lead to  higher commitment and engagement between authorities and citizens.
  • Capacity to improvise: the more you know, the more you can do. Empowering local communities will provide them with the capacity to prepare for flood events and know what to do after a flood event.
  • Trust: relationships cannot work without mutual trust. The way of approaching local communities and the message communicated to them is key in building relationships and gaining trust. It is important to communicate the message in a clear way to the stakeholders in order to get their interest and engage with them. Once there is trust, stakeholders are more open to discuss and engage in the project.
  • Communication and information: continuous and personal communication will strengthen all that is mentioned above. Ask all involved or affected about their individual needs, and clearly explain their role in FRM.  Community resilience starts with changing the perspective of citizens towards flood risk and make them feel they have a role to play. Changing the narrative around flood risk to a message like “Everyone has a role in managing water. What’s yours?’’ In this way, local communities will change their perception and awareness about flood risk, their role and over time they can develop abilities to take the lead to improved flood preparedness and response at local level. E.g. in Belgium the East Flanders government is also developing a participatory procedure to involve more local communities (schools, local neighbourhoods organizations) together with other parties (water management agencies, local municipalities) in FRM.
  • Single loop learning: FRAMES outcomes show that that where flood preparedness and response are low, community based approaches improves the resilience of communities towards floods (2.2 Single loop learning).
  • Double loop learning: integrate new knowledge into local policies. Integration will ensure long term flood resilience. In Kent for instance, the knowledge generated about the vulnerability of health and social care homes was integrated into the actions plans at District level.

What tools were used in the community resilience pilots?

There are many tools that can be used to increase community resilience. The FRAMES pilots have selected and successfully used the tools listed in the table below. More information can be found by clicking on the links provided, or by visiting the description of the pilots.

We also uploaded a full list of all tools used to improve the management of MLS.

Name of tool Main objective Description
Workshops Collect data from main stakeholders in the area Workshop for and  with the main stakeholders of the area are organized. Each stakeholder provides information/ knowledge based on their expertise responsibility in flood risk management: crisis management, water management, technical knowledge (flood scenarios) and so on.
Stakeholder analysis Identify all stakeholders in the area A stakeholder analysis will identify all actors along with their interests and potential issues who will have a role in MLS before engaging them in the process.
Surveys Collect data regarding perceptions and awareness of stakeholders Surveys collect data about the perceptions and level of awareness of inhabitants, stakeholders, policy makers and organisations about (perceived) flood risk, flood preparedness and flood recovery.
Interviews with stakeholders Collect data from stakeholders in the area Interviewing stakeholders can result in more specific insights on their knowledge, perceptions, views and opinions on specific flood risk measures.

h by design approach

Collect data with emphasis on participation from the community This approach  aims at uniting flood-prone citizens, private stakeholders and local/supra-local public actors in roundtables in order to find cross-sectoral solutions to common challenges.
Community based approach / participation approach Collect data with emphasis on participation from the community Approach to include those (potentially) affected as key partners in developing strategies related to their assistance and protection.
Vision and Action Plan Use when developing adaptive plans for the future Vision and action plans can be developed to climate/flood proof the area/region with specific spatial adaptation measures.
3D viewer of flood scenarios Impact assessment + communication tool This impact assessment tool developed by the consultancy firm Nelen&Schuurmans as a risk communication tool to inhabitants and other stakeholders to share and discuss flood risk scenarios and evacuation routes. 
The Kent Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation (SHAPE) Atlas Map the socio-spatial flood risk of an area The 'Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation', or SHAPE, is a web enabled, evidence based application that informs and supports the strategic planning of services and assets across a whole health economy. Its analytical and presentation features can help service commissioners to determine the service configuration that provides the best affordable access to care.
Severe Weather Impacts Monitoring System (SWIMS)  Self-assessment tools for community resilience The Severe Weather Impacts Monitoring System (SWIMS) allows Kent partners to collect data about how the services provided them are affected during severe weather events. This in turn will allow the identification of key areas and communities that are affected by flooding and other severe weather events and improve the management of those areas in line with MLS principles. It is a decision support and public tool for public organizations in emergency planning events.

SWIMS is available in the UK to local authorities through the Climate Ready programme (in partnership with the Environment Agency, Defra, LGA and Climate UK).

School programs to increase flood awareness Self-assessment tools for community resilience + communication Increase the flood risk awareness of students, teachers and parents by visiting schools and playing educational games with the students.
The Story  Map Cascade Self-assessment tools for community resilience + dissemination + communication The Story Map Cascade, developed by ESRI, is a type of website which  aims to make rich layers of geographical information easily accessible and useful to both professionals and the wider public. As such, it can help disseminate the results to a wider audience and ensure durability of results beyond the lifetime of the project.

Story Map apps are open source.

Mobile app, such as Katwarn Risk communication A mobile application (app) can be used as a Flood Threat Warning App and for instance include full integration within the risk communication program of the region. The app could also include  other identified natural risks of the area such as fires, droughts and extreme weather events.
KentView  Self-assessment This tool helps to build MLS concepts into business-as-usual in a number of teams including health and social care teams and more widely across the Sustainable Business and Communities team.
Climate Just Aid in developing socially just responses to the impacts of flooding Free web tool, developed by the World Health Organization, that considers the most recent scientific evidence on the health impacts of climate change.
GIS analysis of social characteristics Exploration of different social vulnerability indicators Explore the social (in)justice to floods through an analysis of the social characteristics of the exposed populations by using a GIS-analysis of the spatial distribution of the different social vulnerability indicators.
LIWO   Information on water and floods in the Netherlands National information system Water and Floods (Landelijk Informatiesysteem Water en Overstromingen) consists of layers of maps.

LIWO was developed specifically for Dutch professionals in preparation for excess of water and floods. Developed by Watermanagementcentrum Nederland (WMCN).

Climate Change Risk and Impact Assessment (CCRiA) Assessment of climate risk A tool to better understand the impacts of climate change on key sectors and motivate action. To this end, the KCC has reviewed the existing UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA).  
Social media   Communication and dissemination To increase and improve the flood awareness and self-efficacy of citizens and organizations, social media channels are advised to be used: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, local press (TV, newspaper, magazines, radio), websites, newsletters, brochures, leaflets, events and meetings.  ·        


Hier wordt aan gewerkt of naar verwezen door: Layer 3- Preparedness and response