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Measuring rural community resilience: Case studies in NZ and Vermont, USA

journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-21, 03:53 authored by Penny Payne, William Kaye-Blake, Amy Kelsey, Margaret Brown, Meredith Niles
Methods for assessing community resilience have focused predominantly on disaster recovery. There is a need for quantitative measurement tools for assessing community resilience to slow-moving change such as rural depopulation or climate change. Our research provides a proof of concept across two diverse contexts, New Zealand and Vermont, USA, that community resilience can be quantified and broken down into dimensions of resilience. We assessed how 8 communities across 2 countries perceive resilience and compared their perceptions with indicators of resilience in the form of official statistics. Resilience indicators were found to be weakly related or unrelated to community perceptions of resilience. This result suggests that the proposed method for measuring resilience can be used across contexts, but that there is not one type of resilience that is the key to higher levels of overall resilience. It also suggests that the two proxy measures of resilience, i.e., community perceptions and indicators, do not provide a consistent picture of resilience, raising the question of which is a more accurate measure.


Funded by the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's Our Land and Water National Science Challenge (Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai) as part of project Indicators Working Group


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  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No

Journal title

Ecology & Society

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