emBRACE Handbook - Concepts

ORIENTATION
In this section we present a brief description of the conceptual underpinnings of the emBRACE resilience approach through literature reviews, gap analyses, indicator development and then conceptual and graphical framework construction.








The emBRACE Project carried out an initial literature review  (Birkmann et al 2012, Deliverable 1.1) at an early stage of the project and then followed up with a final update (Abeling and Huq 2015, Deliverable 1.4)  towards the end of the project. 

The first review examined the development of the resilience concept across a range of disciplines (i.e. psychology, organisations and institutions, ecological and social-ecological systems, and critical infrastructure), discussing the tensions between these approaches. Practical perspectives taken from the concept’s application by the UK and US civil protection sectors are described and the concepts of community and social capital are also briefly discussed in terms of their relevance to resilience research.  A typology of resilience is presented.

The second review provides a final update of the literature on resilience that relates to research in the emBRACE project. It builds on previous literature reviews in the project, and their subsequent outputs (all deliverables and outputs are available on the emBRACE website). The document presents a review of resilience literature identified through a non-systematic approach using the Web of Science® and Scopus® Databases. Studies are also reviewed that were identified as important by the emBRACE Consortium. A particular focus is put  on resilience research that focuses on aspects of the emBRACE framework, and on community resources/capacities, community actions, and community learning, in particular. The aim of the deliverable is to review how these components of the emBRACE framework are reflected in the wider literature on resilience.

The first paper (Birkmann et al 2012, Deliverable 1.2) underlying the framework development deals with the systematization of different concepts, quality criteria and the identification of components as well as indicators of resilience. The central aim was to review how resilience is assessed and operationalized in existing studies of resilience. Selected studies are showcased that have proposed frameworks and indicators to measure social-ecological, psychological, organizational and institutional, critical infra-structure and practical, community-based examples of resilience. A set of key components of resilience is presented. 

The development of the emBRACE framework was an iterative process that involved all project partners plus a number of external experts. The first iterations were designed early on to guide case study and other work to ensure a common framework for evaluation in the field. Deliverable 6.6 (Jülich et al 2014) describes the process and Deliverable 7.2 (Deeming 2015) summarises the final version.