Societies and communities vulnerable to climate change urgently need approaches and methods to assess and design strategies for building resilience. A number of reviews of the resilience concept and its applicability in reducing disaster risks and uncertain impacts arising from climate change exist. This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of resilience through the systematic review and analysis of existing resilience definitions and frameworks, and the documentation of ‘on-the-ground’ experiences from resilience building initiatives in the context of natural hazards.

We contend that a comprehensive and effective disaster resilience framework needs to incorporate fundamental elements of sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and community engagement. In addition, it needs to go beyond the specification of concrete outcomes to describing the process by which the initial resilience status can be identified, and the goals for each element can be established. Conceptualising resilience building as a process is important to enable the monitoring and evaluation of progress towards desired goals.

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