Institutional Resilience for Informed Decisions

Course NameInstitutional Resilience for Informed Decisions

OCW type: PDP

Higher Education InstitutionSchool of Planning and Architecture (SPAB), Bhopal

Image Source: Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Description of course

Aim: The PDP aimed at building an understanding of the nuances of institutional resilience regarding the ability to manage challenges in a more effective manner amongst the professionals in the field.

Course Objectives: The training programme focused on developing a holistic understanding of institutional resilience through exploring the links between the society, community, and the environment in terms of dealing with disasters and building resilience.

Learning Outcomes: The participants gained an understanding on the nuances of institutional resilience through the case studies, the lecture series, and the discussions. The assignment enabled the participants to apply the gained knowledge in understanding the cases better and triggered the critical thinking. Through the various groups, and exchange of knowledge, the participants presented PowerPoints on the respective cities [Mumbai, Gurugram, Gorakhpur, Jabalpur], linking with institutional resilience.

Course Structure

Course Duration: Five Days

Course Frequency: It will be conducted as and when required for dissemination.

Course Format

The Programme was conducted through a combination of lectures, group discussions, work sessions, and one major assignment. The professional development programme covered the concept of Institutional resilience. Through various expert lectures as elaborated in the next section the various aspects of formal and informal institution were discussed. Participants were introduced to various methods related to understanding and identifying the various actors involved related to the issues confronted by the cities. The interlinkages between various actors (both formal and informal) were further explored for addressing the identified issues.

Course Content

Prerequisites for participation

The PDP was designed for professionals, academicians and participants with a background from architecture, planning, science, economics, sociology. Members of govt. bodies and NGO’s working in the field of capacity building, disaster management and resilience, and planning also participated in this PDP. 

Course Syllabus:

The programme initiated by the inaugural address given by Prof. N. Sridharan, director SPA Bhopal. The keynote address to start off the session was given by Dr. Marie Helene Zerah, Research Director with the French National Research Institute or Sustainable Development (IRD).

Dr. Marie Helene Zerah- Beginning with the program, Dr Zerah in her discourse gave a backdrop about resilience as a way of thinking about the complexities of building communities. She presented through the several nuances of resilience including urban infrastructure resilience, the issues that need to be addressed, the prevalent gaps, and building collective action framework towards resilience. She sets out the highlights of her fieldwork in Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It concluded by building a framework for collaborative action and emphasizing the importance of continuous engagement and exchange of knowledge between the various stakeholders involved in the urban system.

D. K. Bhalla retired IAS, advisor and consultant with Nagaland House, Government of Nagaland succeeded the program with his insightful lecture on the local self-governance in the Northeast of India, with the case of Nagaland. He outlined Nagaland’s timeline in terms of administration and governance. He enlightened the participants about the uniqueness, legal status, and the establishment of village councils in Nagaland. With the Area Council Act into action, the Village Development Boards were formed and the devolution of power to the villages. With the Area Council Act into action, the Village Development Boards were formed and the devolution of power to the villages. He elaborated by examples of participatory democracy and how it reflects on the local needs and interests of the decentralized system and the village councils. It also concentrated on its advantages with the communalization of public and institutional services as a good practice in the villages of Nagaland.

Carsten Butsch, post-doctoral researcher at the university of Cologne in Germany, delivered a talk on ‘Disaster and Resilience-Geographic Perspectives’. Presenting Risk Governance analysis in the Megacity (Mumbai, India) - A Dynamic Adaptive Structure Perspective, Butsch stressed synergies between the environment and the various stakeholders. Drawing a background about climate change, increased risk vulnerability, and hazards through the context of mega-cities, he informed about the Complex Adaptive System perspective and the complex but comprehensive multi-stakeholder risk framework for it. The presentation focused on the three configurations, pre-disaster, aftermath, and recovery from hazards. Through an engaging quiz with the participants about the Mumbai flood scenario, he explained the complexities of threats and risk control with support and local participation.

Maria Lobo, associated with the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) presented on ‘Community as Institutions- Concepts of Resilience’. By raising the questions like what resilience is and how communities deal with it, the lecture focused on the several dimensions of communities linked with other stakeholders and the systems and processes interlinked with policy and planning. By explaining the sustainable slum planning and the grassroot facilitators involved in it, the presentation stressed on formation of partnerships at various scales. Lobo also emphasized about the processes at grassroot level as means to creating sustainable slum planning methods. The processes include community mobilization and capacity building and building partnerships for social inclusion and ultimately effecting policy change.

Rama U. Pandey- The case of BReUCom project in Jodhpur, Rajasthan on Community and Institutional Resilience was presented by Dr. Rama Pandey. The case presented was about Resilience to Climate Change Impacts: Water and Heat Stress. It aimed at understanding the perspectives of the locals with respect to the stresses caused by climate change in the city and studying the traditional methods of construction to cope with the heat stress. With the local knowledge as the backdrop for the issues and stresses, the emphasis was given on building resilience with the local communities as an integral part.

Natraj Kranthi- The research on Pandemic and Institutional Resilience through the lens of Spatial Convergence was presented by Natraj Kranthi. Through the research of COVID-19 pandemic spread in India the research identified the spatial planning factors associated with it. With the details of four Metropolitan cities, the results related to these factors and the suggestions and conclusions were discussed. The risk spatial factors were identified based on the risk zone mapping, and suggestions regarding built up density, shared facilities, and strict compliance to standards was provided. The study presented aimed at identifying the risk spatial factors directly or indirectly instrumental in spread of COVID-19 and the results showcased the 14 spatial factors identified.

N. M. Prusty- N. M. Prusty, Director, Chief Mentor cum Director at Centre or Development and Disaster Management Support Services (CDMASS), New Delhi, presented on Urban Resilience in the context of Disasters Risk Reduction. With a focus on DRR in urban systems, the lecture drew onto the basics of resilience, adaptive capacity, preparedness, and response to hazards. After briefly explaining the NDMA Plan 2016, he explained the Local Resilience Action Plan for identifying priorities of action and designing feasible programs with financing strategies. He also emphasized on the elements of resilience in urban disasters, phases of the disaster, and preparing the organisations for response.

Barsha Poricha- Barsha Poricha associated with Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE) with her insightful presentation talked about Informed decision making and enhanced Resilience in urban informal settlements from the civil society perspective. Through her presentation on Empowered People/ Resilient Habitats Strengthening Institutional and Community Resilience, she gave a background to the areas of work undertaken by CURE. Furthermore, she added onto the aspects of capacity building, data and maps, and multisectoral partnerships in terms of institution and policy frameworks for resilience. Poricha established that the work can be undertaken by mainstreaming resilience into policies, infrastructure investment, city planning processes, and prioritizing and budgeting for resilience activities by local governments. She also emphasized the need to informing decision making through data and map-based governance.

Post the guest lectures, the case BReUCom case studies of Mumbai and Ziro Valley were presented by Anand Wadwekar and Saurabh Tewari respectively.

Anand Wadwekar- Presenting the case study of Mumbai, Gazdhar Bandh in particular, Wadwekar emphasized on the dimensions of resilience associated with the community, such as mixed uses, socio-cultural setup, flexibility, redundancy, and everyday adaptability. Along with resilience, he also touched upon aspects such as ecological ignorance, unawareness about climate change, individual approach rather than collective efforts, that makes the community vulnerable. Drawing upon the analysis, the discussion concluded with the linkages between risk, exposure, and vulnerability in terms of socio-economic dimension, infrastructure and environment.

Saurabh Tewari- Presenting the case study, Culture and Urban Resilience drawn from the experiences rom Ziro Valley, Tewari discussed the potential to advance the tenets of resilience thinking in terms of environmental, socio-economic, and cultural aspects in the next paradigm of urban resilience. With the study of Apatanis and their background, the conceptual framework of Craft-Culture-Community was developed. The case study offered opportunities to investigate cultural aspect through its integrated resilience practices and continuums to evolve.

Mihir Bhatt- Mihir Bhatt, Director, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Ahmedabad shared his insights on Informal institutions and their role in building institutional resilience. Linking institutional resilience to climate change uncertainty, the presentation advanced towards specific case of institutional resilience and air pollution and resilience in the future. Drawing onto his personal experience, Bhatt established the changing dynamics of institutions, resilience, being informed and addressing this rapidly changing context. He highlighted the importance of not just institutional resilience, but resilience that is transformative and for the institution as well. He also touched upon the need to move towards community-led institutional resilience and not only at the grassroot level but also at several levels. He discussed the work of AIDMI with the marginalised communities of Kutch, Mumbai, and the Sunderbans for showcasing the need to integrate various perspectives of uncertainty. He concluded by throwing a light on not letting the idea of institutional resilience be appropriated with neo-liberalism and to be informed by participation and engagement of empowered citizens.

Bala Prasad- The sessions of lecture series concluded by Bala Prasad, retired Special Secretary at Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, on Panchayati Raj and Institutional Resilience. Through his highly insightful presentation, he explained the Panchayati Raj institutions, preparation of Gram Panchayat Development Plans, Block and District Development Plans, disasters occurring in India, the disaster management plan of Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Furthermore, he added onto how institutional resilience can be achieved through Panchayati Raj system in the rural counterparts for managing disasters comprehensively.

The resource persons gave special inputs on migration, poverty, and resilience, changed weather patterns & climate and its impact on livelihoods and resilience of the communities, and gendered vulnerabilities of homeless people. Participants responded to the assignments by making actor-network diagrams based on lectures and BreUCom case studies. They brought in the perspectives of their own cities and issues therein.

Course Assignments

The thrust of the assignment was to develop the holistic understanding for Institutional Resilience through exploring the various linkages between structures, processes, and actors. The participants were encouraged to highlight the role of various formal and informal institutions in addressing the challenges pertaining to urban areas. Through tasks such as reviewing case studies and conducting a study of a particular city to understand the nuances, the assignment was conducted.

The assignment also pushed towards exploring the several stakeholders and actors in a particular system and highlight the weak and strong institutional linkages and possibilities for addressing the stresses and filling the gaps identified. Furthermore, the possibilities of transferring SDGs at local level for addressing the stresses were also explored.

Expected time spent on course:

Time spent in hours: 6 hours per day for five days

Time spent in ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System): 1 ECTS

Course Grading

Assessment Criteria and Distribution of Marks:

This was five days PDP wherein participants understanding was assessed based on application of the concepts discussed during presentation of the assignment on the last day.

Course Evaluation

Evaluation Procedure & Criteria:

Based upon the common evaluation proforma prepared by WP4 leader institutes.

Faculty Evaluation:

Based upon the common evaluation.

Student Evaluation:

Participants were evaluated based upon their performance in the assignment and discussion during question-and-answer sessions.

Last modified: Friday, 21 January 2022, 2:16 PM