Evidence on Resilience Approaches in Fragile and Conflict-affected States and Protracted Crises

17th July 2020
Author: Luke Kelly

This rapid literature review explores lessons on resilience programming in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) and protracted crises. Lessons on the feasibility of programming shows that: programming needs to be linked to a plausible analysis of the situation, and good coordination among relevant actors; undertaking resilience work in FCAS requires the willingness to engage in a conflict zone, and to adapt working criteria and methods of engagement; resilience work in FCAS should be realistic about what can be achieved; resilience programming should be framed based on evidence of local coping strategies and resilience structures, rather than pre-determined political priorities; resilience often requires co-operation with many local actors, from civil society, and the private sector, and local and national government. With regards to the impact of programming in FCAS: due to the long-term and complex nature of resilience, there are gaps in the available evidence of impact; evaluations stress the importance of understanding the cyclical nature of shocks; measurements of impact on resilience to future shocks are sometimes imperfect; the nature of FCAS can sometimes skew programming priorities and there are lessons from different programming modalities. Meanwhile, there are several studies of existing resilience in Syrian society and institutions, from which programming lessons can be drawn.

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Suggested Citation

Kelly, L. (2020). Evidence on resilience approaches in fragile and conflict-affected states and protracted contexts. K4D Helpdesk Report 824. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


17th July 2020


Continent: Global