Measuring subjective resilience: using people's perceptions to quantify household resilience

ISBN/ISSN: 2052-7209
Author(s): Jones, Lindsey; Tanner, Thomas
Number of pages: 23 p.

This paper advocates for the use of measuring ‘subjective’ household resilience and discusses the advantages thereof. The concept of subjective resilience stems from the premise that people have a good understanding of the factors that contribute to their ability to anticipate, buffer and adapt to disturbance and change. Subjective household resilience, therefore, relates to an individual’s cognitive and affective self-evaluation of their household’s capabilities and capacities in responding to risk.

First, the authors put forward different options for the design and delivery of survey questions on subjective resilience at the household level. Then they outline some of the key limitations and methodological challenges of asking subjective questions and explore possible ways of overcoming various biases. Finally, they highlight how subjective household resilience can be used to improve policy and decision-making, through the evaluation and targeting of resilience-building activities, national and international resilience measurement, and the inclusion of bottom-up perspectives in decision-making processes at various levels of governance.