Resilience, Capabilities and Complexity: The face of bouncing-back.

Resilience is the ability for people to self-organize their capabilities and bounce-back after a shock.   The human capabilities and development approach (i.e. Sen, Nussbaum, Alkire and others) is helpful in understanding resilience in a human centered way.  Connecting capabilities to resilience leads to understanding which capabilities are most vital for people to secure in order to bounce-back and flourish.  This is different from a perspective that places economic development -Livelihood- as the ends rather than the means towards resilience.  This shift may seem subtle but it is substantialRead more

Islam, Human Capabilities and Development: A perspective from Basilan, Mindanao

Islam is important to development because it is important to people. The Islamic discourse –often defined differently by different groups- guides how people develop. This article shows that for many people Islam guides the development or lack of development of their capability domains. An understanding of Islam and development derived from the Yakan can guide development policy and practice in Mindanao as well as inform the larger Islam and development discussion. There are approximately 181,000 Yakan.  The Yakan live inRead more

The Gendered Results of Conflict: “We Live in Hell” vs. We were “Revolutionaries”.

Long-term conflict or crisis can cause women to fall below the human security threshold in many key domains and not recover as quickly as men.  Unequal recovery negatively impacts women’s opportunities to develop their capability domains compared to the opportunities of men. The Mindanao conflict is a story of conflict with disproportionate affects on women. The history of the Mindanao conflict is a reminder that conflict can increase male privilege and lead to unequal access to women’s capabilities development.  The conflictRead more

Who is Vulnerable? Vulnerability and Disasters in the Pacific

It was a hot and muggy day. I listened to people recount stories of their experience of the flash flood that had happened six months earlier. One man who had previously lost his legs stated, “When the flood happened my family carried me and ran.” He went onto talk about how powerless and fragile it made him feel. Not only could he not help his loved ones as they fled, but saving him had also become a struggle for them.Read more

The Respect Principle -Fertile or Corrosive- Key to Peace in Mindanao

This article explores the idea of the respect principle which if understood -in policy and development practice- would have major impact for peace in Mindanao.  Short-term justice must look towards long-term flourishing. Nine months ago, I did research titled “Flourishing Amid Conflict” in Mindanao. Within this research, I worked with Yakan (residents of Basilan Island with a majority of Yakans identifying as Muslim by birth and choice). They defined what they viewed as the good life. The participants explained howRead more

Degrees of Separation and Disaster Response in the Pacific

The theory of “six degrees of separation” is people connect to each other –globally- within a chain of six relationships. In the Solomon Islands there is a smaller degree of separation. The smaller degree of separation affects the social impact of disasters. Currently, the concepts in this article are based on observation. Further research -to create a base of evidence- is needed to validate or invalidate solutions I pose. Flash Flood in the Solomon Islands April 3, 2014 there wasRead more

“If Peace is Missing we Can’t Do Anything but Hide.” Peace a Priority in Mindanao.

A few weeks ago a colleague and friend (in the southern Philippines) organized a petition to the Philippine government. His petition was to hasten the transition to the new Bangsamoro government. The Mindanao conflict has seen over 120,000 people die in the last 40 years. Bangsamoro is a new political entity. The hope is it will create peace and increased development for Mindanao. Individuals, people’s organizations, non-for profit organizations, and government employees from Basilan signed the petition. My friend organizedRead more