Building the Resilience of Small States

Building the Resilience of Small States

A Revised Framework You do not have access to this content

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Edited By:Denny Lewis-Bynoe
08 Sep 2014
9781848599185 (PDF)

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Some small states enjoy relatively high GDP per capita –giving the impression of economic strength – when in reality these economies are fragile and disproportionately affected by adverse economic shocks, natural disasters and extreme weather events.

The Commonwealth resilience framework has been developed to identify both the national policies required to build resilience and the areas in which regional and international development partners can provide support.

This study refines and expands the framework to cover areas such as governance, environmental management and social development. It proposes policy measures for building resilience and ways in which the resilience framework for small states can be embedded in national planning to help stakeholders to agree priority areas for policy intervention.

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  • Foreword

    The studies collated in this book were commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat to help to further improve the Commonwealth Resilience Framework: a conceptual framework for identifying policy measures for building the resilience of small states. For over three decades, the Commonwealth has championed the cause of small states by raising international awareness of their vulnerability and their sustainable development needs. The Commonwealth Resilience Framework includes an index to measure countries’ ability to absorb external shocks caused by adverse global economic conditions, natural disasters and extreme weather events, and an assessment tool to identify key policies for building resilience that can be embedded in national planning.

  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • About the authors
  • Overview

    Small states face a unique set of development challenges posed by their small size, notably narrow production and export bases, limited resources and capacity constraints. These characteristics heighten their susceptibility to economic and climate related shocks, which are likely to increase in frequency and intensity with climate change and globalisation. While the latter undoubtedly creates opportunities for small states, the accompanying integration of markets and openness of small economies means greater exposure to external shocks. Each shock wave further erodes their economic and social gains, hindering their ability to respond to and cope with future shocks. This was especially evident during the 2008–10 global economic recession. Climate change adds greater uncertainty to future growth prospects and added costs.

  • A Vulnerability and Resilience Framework for Small States

    This chapter presents a revised vulnerability/resilience framework, building on the work of Briguglio et al. (2009).1 The chapter also revises and updates the economic vulnerability and economic resilience indices, the former associated with exposure to external shocks and the latter with policies that can enable a country to minimise or withstand the negative effects of such shocks. A number of policy implications are derived from the study presented in this chapter.

  • Developing a Governability Assessment Framework in the Context of Resilience Building in Small States

    All societies have encountered and still encounter challenges in governing themselves. Recent episodes such as the global economic and financial crisis, as well as the Arab Spring and numerous examples of failed states, clearly show that governing is not an automatic process. Irrespective of country size or the level of development, governing presents real challenges.

  • Strengthening Environmental Management in the Context of Resilience Building in Commonwealth Small States

    Building resilience is an important element of small states’ efforts to withstand inherent and policy-induced vulnerabilities and fully embrace and benefit from globalisation. Research suggests that the key requirements for resilience are macro-economic stability, market efficiency, good governance, good environmental governance, and equitable and inclusive social development.

  • Strengthening Social Cohesion in the Context of Resilience Building in Small States With Reference to Commonwealth Small States

    Small states face elevated vulnerability risks, which have been attributed principally to exposure to adverse economic shocks and susceptibility to natural disasters and climate change. However, exposure to a range of social forces is just as critical. Social forces originate from social systems such as regulatory systems, familial systems, communications systems, systems impacting human capital accumulation, systems impacting the accumulation of wealth, legal systems, and systems impacting culture and values. All of these systems act independently and collectively to produce outcomes with both positive and negative consequences, but, to the extent that the latter outstrips the former, negative social forces evolve to increase vulnerability risks that are socially determined.

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