Resilience from a lived-experience perspective in the regional context of Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Josephine Adekola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
101 Downloads (Pure)


Within the UK, academics and practitioners’ understanding of resilience have been increasingly nuanced, particularly after the introduction of the Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) 2004. However, there remain debates and variations in how resilience is conceptualized that creates confusion in how resilience building is operationalised in practice by stakeholders. To address this concern, this study explores the meaning of resilience from the perspectives of people with a lived experience of flooding, through the lens of adaptive capacity, which is a key dimension of resilience as identified in Scottish policy frameworks. Insight from a literature review combined with empirical data collected from forty-three participants, suggests that resilience to natural hazards is a function of two inter-related aspects: ‘information’ and ‘response’ mechanisms. Further analysis suggests that resilience enhancement begins following receipt of risk information from either experience or other sources that shapes the understanding of a hazard and what protective steps to take. This understanding prompts behavioral responses influenced by ‘risk attitude’, ‘skills’ and ‘access to resources’ to enhance the adaptive capacity of the receiver. The paper engages in the complex debate about how resilience is conceptualized from the social sciences perspective. It presents a simplified account of what resilience means and sets out policy and practical implications of this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-448
Number of pages8
Journal International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Early online date13 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • resilience enhancement
  • adaptive capacity
  • risk communication
  • natural hazards
  • disaster risk reduction


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