Building community resilience within involuntary displacements by enhancing collaboration between host and displaced communities: A literature synthesis

Pournima Sridarran, Kaushal Keraminiyage, Dilanthi Amaratunga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Improving resilience through empowerment of communities is becoming a much sought after strategy for community level disaster preparedness. Community resilience is the ability of a community to bounce back to its operational equilibrium after a hazardous stress. This ability builds up over time based on many underlying factors such as community’s age distribution, food supply, livelihood, population stability, indigenous knowledge, and communication capacity. Often, these factors make communities different from one another and define their level of resilience to disasters and other hazardous stresses.

Involuntary relocations alter the equilibrium position and stress absorbing ability of a community by merging two (or more) communities with different resilience equilibrium positions. In this case, resilience of these communities towards potential disasters could be disturbed. Therefore, when involuntary relocations are to be exercised, maximising the potential and collaboration of the communities is essential to enhance the overall resilience of the communities involved. Accordingly, this paper aims to develop a conceptual model to integrate possible mechanisms to build community resilience within involuntary settlements by enhancing collaboration between host community and displaced community.

This study was conducted through a comprehensive literature review to investigate the research question: ‘How involuntary settlements alter the resilience of the communities in Sri Lanka?’ It has been found that the operational equilibrium of host and displaced communities would make a shift immediately after relocation, because introduction of a new community will alter the context of all the influencing factors of a community’s resilience. That shift would also be higher for the displaced community compared to the host community.

Consequently, the prospects for the people who have been expelled from their habitual residence are often uncertain as they are forced to live in a place among people with different culture and behaviour. Furthermore, economic status, social settings and psychological aspects could also act as stress factors that affect the resilience of the community. It is challenging to build community resilience between two communities, which are different from one another. Besides, time and financial constraints often act as barriers for resettlement planners to consider such aspects during relocation planning. Therefore, an integrated approach to build community resilience needs to be incorporated in the policy design and decision-making of relocations by drawing possible linking mechanisms that facilitate collaboration between communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the CIB World Building Congress 2016
Subtitle of host publicationVolume II - Environmental Opportunies and Challenges. Constructing Commitment and Acknowledging Human Experiences
EditorsMatthijs Prins, Hans Wamelink, Bob Giddings, Kihong Ku, Manon Feenstra
PublisherTampere University of Technology. Department of Civil Engineering
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789521537424
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2016
EventCIB World Building Congress 2016: Intelligent Built Environment for Life - Tampere Hall, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 30 May 20163 Jun 2016 (Link to Conference Website )

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Department of Civil Engineering. Construction Management and Economics. Report


ConferenceCIB World Building Congress 2016
Abbreviated titleCIB WBC 2016
Internet address


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