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Resilience Alliance

Resilience Alliance


The Resilience Alliance 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.

Our Approach

Our organizational approach involves three complementary strategies:

  • Contributing toward theoretical advances in the dynamics of complex adaptive systems
  • 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
  • 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

Our Niche

As a deliberately small yet extensively networked organization, the RA is highly adaptable and able to seek out opportunities for new ways of learning about and applying resilience theory.

  • RA members are leaders in the ecological and social sciences, covering a range of disciplinary expertise
  • Our work fortifies a paradigm shift in natural resource management from top-down, command-and-control optimization (the MSY paradigm), to the promotion of resilience and self-organisation
  • We have extensive experience engaging stakeholders involved in resource management and planning processes in an Adaptive Environmental Assessment and Management (AEAM) framework as well as in the developing area of adaptive governance
  • RA members have in-depth knowledge of social-ecological systems in Australia, Africa, South East Asia, South America, the USA and Europe, in a variety of terrestrial and aquatic systems used for both production and conservation
  • We are continually exploring new ways of communicating and building connections among researchers and practitioners to improve access to new knowledge and ideas
  • The RA brings research findings to the attention of policy- and decision-makers at all levels


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.

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