Global Resources

No accident: Resilience and the inequality of risk

Author: D. Hillier, G.E. Castillo
Publisher: Oxfam
Publication Date: May 2013

This briefing paper argues that a new approach is needed towards risk and poverty reduction. It highlights that major external risks, such as climate change and food price volatility, are increasing faster than attempts to reduce them and that many risks are ‘dumped’ on poor people, with women face an overwhelming burden.

The paper makes the case for a new focus on building resilience which it argues offers real promise to allow the poorest women and men to thrive despite shocks, stresses, and uncertainty – but only if risk is more equally shared globally and across societies. The paper highlights that this will require a major shift in development work and will require challenging the inequality that exposes poor people to far more risk than the rich.