I've today been looking at some articles and resources on community resilience that are new - and that folk have flagged up since we wrote up 'exploring community resilience' last year, in particular from Australia and New Zealand which seems a hotbed of innovation in this area. I thought I'd offer a brief summary of what I've found discovered and would welcome tips on more resources... (just reply below)

1) Queensland study - Building Resilience in Rural Communities Toolkit


This publication came out of a 3 year study of building resilience in a rural community (Stanthorpe) in Queensland. It suggests 11 elements of community resilience, and there are many similarities with the 'compass' framework we developed within fiery spirits. This toolkit also very helpfully goes in some depth into issues such as leadership, purpose and belonging and I recommend it. Several of the authors are academics and for the academically inclined, they published a book that is available via the University of Queensland.

2) Academic resources

The queensland study and several other good resources are linked to from here, maintained by Will Allen of land care research in New Zealand:


Also, for the academically minded, the journal of ecology and society has lots of articles, including a special edition of collaboration between community and larger scales (which is very relevant to the 'where resilience planning meets community development' CoP workshop in Dunfermline recently)


3) Mapping bonding, bridging and linking capital?

The concepts of bonding, bridging and linking capital come up repeatedly in resilience studies. For example, a recent Welsh study points out that more work needs to be done to understand if developing these capitals result in better health outcomes for communities (Community resilience and health: The role of bonding, bridging, and linking aspects of social capital - Wouter Poortinga, Welsh School of Architecture).

While this may be the case, what I found more interesting was the following table:

I wonder if there is experience in the fiery spirits community about mapping capitals, and what kinds of questions (same or different from those Poortinga suggests in the table?) might help?

There is a clear connection here to the 'mapping community assets' topic that's developing here on fiery spirits.

4) Sense of Community

Finally, I rediscovered and old article from a journal of community psychology back in 1986 (Sense of  Community: A Definition and Theory by David W .  McMillan and David M .  Chavis) that talks about 

"Sense of  community is a feeling that members have of  belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together (McMillan,  1976)."

This has got me reflecting on what both communities of place as well as this community of practice might learn about becoming more resilient in a 'break through' sense in response to these ideas:


Membership is a feeling that one has invested part of oneself to  become a member and therefore has a right to  belong… Membership has boundaries; this means that there are people who belong and people who do not. The boundaries provide members with the  emotional safety necessary for needs and feelings to be exposed and for intimacy to develop….(p.3) ...working for membership will provide a feeling that one has earned a place in the group and (b) that, as a consequence of this personal investment, membership will  be more meaningful and valuable. (p.9]

Influence (page 12)

Members are more attracted to a community in which they feel that they are influential. 

Needs (page 13)

"Some of  the rewards that are effective reinforcers of  communities are status of membership,  success of  the community, and competence or capabilities of other members."

Shared Emotional Connection (page 14)

Strong communities are those that offer members positive ways to interact, important events to share and ways to resolve them positively, opportunities to  honor members, opportunities to invest in the community, and opportunities to experience a spiritual bond among members.

(for the full article, see Sense of community: A definition and theory)

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