Sustainable Resilience? Disaster Recovery and the Marginalisation of Socio-cultural Needs and Concerns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Downloads (Pure)


Resilience has become the dominant and normative ideology of sustainability more generally, and disaster recovery more specifically. Most studies focus on how to achieve resilient recovery. This is premised on an assumption that resilience meets the needs and concerns of disaster-affected populations and is thereby sustainable. However, this article critically explores to what extent the recovery needs and concerns of disaster-affected households fit neatly within resilience vernacular and analytical frameworks. The research shows that resilience is informed by a reductive understanding of human needs as many socio-cultural needs of disaster-affected people are marginalized from resilience-based recovery. The article suggests that if disaster recovery is to be a normative and sustainable agenda, then resilience alone may be insufficient, and that needs and concerns that do not directly adapt to, reduce or avoid the impacts of hazards, ought to be prioritized in recovery programmes. The article explores these issues by investigating self-build housing processes in a post-disaster setting in Cochabamba city in Bolivia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-159
Number of pages16
JournalProgress in Development Studies
Issue number2
Early online date28 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019


  • Bolivia
  • Resilience
  • anthropocentric house
  • disaster recovery
  • disaster risk
  • self-build housing
  • sustainability

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


Dive into the research topics of 'Sustainable Resilience? Disaster Recovery and the Marginalisation of Socio-cultural Needs and Concerns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this