Cochrane, L. and Cafer, A. (2018) Does Diversification Enhance Community Resilience? A Critical Perspective. Resilience. https://doi.org/10.1080/21693293.2017.1406849
Abstract: Resilience has become a key component of how practitioners and scholars conceptualize sustainable communities. Given sustainability's focal role in shaping international development funding, policies and programming it is imperative that we critically engage with the concepts embedded within the resilience discourse – including prescriptions for increased diversity. This article contributes to a discourse that questions this common recommendation for diversification, particularly as it relates to agricultural livelihoods and smallholder production. We provide examples from Ethiopia that demonstrate the two limitations of diversification. The first, that some forms of diversification are, in fact, maladaptive and reduce resilience. The second, that diversification is not always equal – some forms of diversification are only accessible to the most vulnerable. As the 2030 Agenda moves ahead in shaping what is considered important, and therefore funded and measured, we argue that much more context-specific nuance is required within the resilience discourse.