The Resilience Alliance (RA) is a research organization comprised of scientists and practitioners from many disciplines who collaborate to explore the dynamics of social-ecological systems. The body of knowledge developed by the RA, encompasses key concepts of resilience, adaptability and transformability and provides a foundation for sustainable development policy and practice.
The Alliance's organizational approach involves three strategies:
(1) Contributing toward theoretical advances in the dynamics of complex adaptive systems.
(2) Supporting rigorous testing of theory through a variety of means, including: participatory approaches to regional case-studies, adaptive management applications, model development, and the use of scenarios and other visioning tools.
(3) Developing guidelines and principles that will enable others to assess the resilience of coupled human-natural systems and develop policy and management tools that support sustainable development.
The RA has developed two workbooks for assessing resilience in social-ecological systems - one for natural resource managers and practitioners and a second for research scientists. Both employ strategic questions and activities designed to explore system parameters and management options for social-ecological systems from a resilience perspective.
RA's Urban Resilience program is focusing research on the major challenges facing urban systems and the landscapes they comprise. The program's first phase of research, to be undertaken over the next 3-5 years, will develop and explore a set of robust propositions or working hypotheses about the dynamics and resilience of urban systems and their landscapes. Organized around four key themes of inquiry - (1) metabolic flows, (2) social dynamics, (3) governance networks, and (4) built environment - this research will be grounded in a select set of comparative urban case studies. It will be led by an established network of urban researchers from CSIRO, Australia, Arizona State University, U.S., and Stockholm University, Sweden.
Established in 1999, the RA is supported by an international network of member institutions that includes universities, government, and non-government agencies. The Board of Directors includes a representative from each member organization. An Executive Director oversees the administrative structure of the Alliance, a Science Leader directs the research program, and a Senior Research Fellow co-ordinates collaborative research synthesis, communications, and outreach.