Unpacking community resilience through Capacity for Change

A Steiner, M Markantoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Enhancing inclusion and self-reliance at community level is gaining ground in policy terms, due - in part - to the need to increase the efficiency of public spend, associated with the global financial crisis. Within Scotland, this shift is manifested through multiple policy and community interventions seeking to enhance resilience of communities. Measuring community resilience remains challenging as there is a lack of practical tools and assessment methods to capture aspects of “change”. The research presented here is based on the “Capacity for Change” programme which, through community engagement and empowerment, seeks to enhance the capacity of rural places and develop inclusive communities. The paper presents, (i) an evaluation model for measuring community resilience and, (ii) empirical findings that derive from deploying the model in a real-life scenario. Based on 155 face-to-face interviews with inhabitants from rural communities, resilience is revealed as being multi-scalar and interdependent, indicating the importance of “unpacking” resilience by exploring different levels of its social and economic components. The findings indicate the significance of inter-connectivity of local and regional, and those less and more resilient areas. In addition, it shows that locations with more diversified services and resources are reported by their residents as being more resilient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407 - 425
Number of pages19
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Issue number3
Early online date1 Aug 2013
Publication statusPrint publication - Jun 2014

Bibliographical note



  • Capacity for Change
  • Communities
  • Social inclusion
  • Social policy


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