Reference Sheet X
What is the Resilience Star?
The Resilience Star is a participatory tool used to produce and organize data about vulnerabilities, capacities and risk, and to present that data visually in a way that promotes community ownership and planning. It is designed
to advance the VCA Enhancement Action Plan and operationalize the Framework for Community Resilience.
What does the Resilience Star mean?
The circle in the middle represents a resilient community. The points of the star represent the 11 characteristics of community resilience. The idea of security has been added to social cohesion and the idea of policy to connectedness (Neither value was included in the original FCR). The other symbols on the star show capacities, vulnerabilities and threats that the community identifies and prioritises: green cards (that communities complete) indicate resilience capacities; blue cards indicate vulnerabilities; and yellow triangles (placed where they have the most direct impact) indicate principal threats.
How to use the Resilience Star in a participatory assessment process
The Resilience Star may be used in many ways; you can develop your own method. For example, you can conduct a holistic enhanced VCA and use the Resilience Star as an analysis tool to organize your data and draw conclusions, or (as described
in Stage 2), the star can act as a starting point. Used as an indicator development and scoring tool, it can help a community to describe its resilience and develop indicators for each characteristic.
In both cases, the star shape, placed on a wall or the ground and painted or drawn on several pieces of paper, introduces participants to the concept of resilience. Participants write on yellow triangles the most important threats that they have identified in previous steps, and place them around the star. They then consider those that are, or are likely to be, exacerbated by climate change or other factors, and highlight them with an exclamation mark. If the community prefers, the star can be presented as a simple table.
How to use the Resilience Star as an analysis tool
The participants review their vulnerability to the most important threats. They summarize these in a few words or symbols on blue cards (one card for each), and place them on the relevant point of the Resilience Star (not in the centre). Participants then repeat the process for capacities, using green cards (one for each capacity), and place these closer to the centre. Then they separately brainstorm each of the capacities that help them build resilience, in relation to each characteristic.
Collectively, participants then consider each point, deciding how to evaluate their current situation with respect to their resilience. If they have many vulnerabilities and few capacities, they make a blue mark somewhere towards the outside of the star. If they have significant capacities, they make a mark nearer the centre of the star.
Jointly, then, participants consider what needs to be done to get the blue mark to move closer to the centre of the star. They may decide to acquire additional capacities or to reduce their vulnerabilities. Ideas are drawn from the problem and solution trees and are written on a card of any colour (other than blue or green). When all aspects have been considered, the first stage of the risk‑informed community action plan (actions) is ready. It can then be assessed in terms of priorities, opportunities, responsibilities, funding, etc. When done for the first time, this exercise creates an image of the community’s resilience baseline. Monitoring and evaluation processes will create new markers to show how much progress has been achieved and what remains to be done. Monitoring may also identify emerging vulnerabilities and threats, or new capacities. These should also be taken into account when planning further actions.