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PDES Investigates Methods for Measuring Social Resilience

PDES collaborated with the Climate Change Program at Oregon Public Health Division on a project related to social resilience (e.g., community’s level of social cohesion or social capital). That program recognizes the scientific evidence indicating social resilience is a key protective factor, enabling a community to effectively prepare, respond and adapt to climate stressors in healthy and innovative ways. 

As a way to begin understanding how to invest in social infrastructure, the Climate Change Program asked PDES to lead a project investigating methods for measuring social resilience. The project included a literature review across several fields of study including sociology, community psychology and disaster preparedness and the development of an annotated bibliography and a “menu” of indicator categories, measures, and potential data sources. The findings help to illuminate next steps for the Oregon Climate and Health Resilience Plan, but may also be of use to an array of public health programs working to assess and build community-level social resilience to other (non-climate related) stressors.

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