Does the mainstream concept of resilience avoid substantive transformation?

Does the mainstream concept of resilience avoid substantive transformation?

Day 1
14:00 – 15:45
Fortress Suite


Resilience is often defined as ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties’ or ‘the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.’ As a result, the current discourse on resilience has been critiqued for being yet another tool to preserve status quo neo-liberal economics and entrench the power of elites. Can resilience lead to real transformation? Or is it a veneer for keeping things the same and bouncing back to the status quo?



(CHAIR) Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso

Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso is the Director of African Monitor  (AM), a continental body set up to act as a catalyst to monitor development resource commitments, delivery and impact on the grassroots, and to bring strong additional African voices to the development agenda.

AM’s current strategic focus is to advocate for improved economic opportunities for Africa’s grassroots communities so that they can independently generate their own livelihoods. Ms. Mniki-Mangaliso also served as Head of the Secretariat for the Africa CSO Working on Post-2015, a network of over 100 African CSO that have been collaborating to develop a framework reflecting the consensus position emerging out of CSO consultations in Africa, in a way that is inclusive, transparent and open. The African CSO Working Group has been an important part of the UN HLP outreach process, ensuring that the voices, aspirations and perspectives of Africans are incorporated into the new development agenda.

Prior to taking up the position at African Monitor, Ms. Mniki-Mangaliso was the Head of Secretariat for the Mandela Institute for Development Studies. She is a development activist with extensive experience in starting and managing development-focused organisations working in Africa. As a development activist, she has extensive technical skills in policy analysis, research and advocacy. She is passionate about human rights, Africa’s development agenda and grassroots involvement and participation in their own development trajectory. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a BA Honours, and an MBA.


Marlene Attz

Dr. Marlene Attzs is an Economics Lecturer at the University of West Indies (UWI).

Lino Briguglio

Professor Lino Briguglio is the director of the Islands and Small States Institute at the University of Malta and the former head of the Economics Department at the same University. Professor Briguglio has published a large number of papers on islands and small states, one of which is a seminal article on the economic vulnerabilities of small island states in World Development (September 1995).

Shireen Huq

Shireen Pervin Huq is a women's rights activist working on gender, human rights and development. She is a founder member of Naripokkho, a leading women's rights organisation in Bangladesh where she has worked on a voluntary basis since its founding in 1983. Currently, she is the Honorary Coordinator of the Bangladesh component of a multi-country project on Women’s Health Rights Advocacy Partnership project focusing on women’s SRHR and maternal morbidity and mortality reduction in the south-western coastal districts of Bangladesh through claiming accountability of service providers in public hospitals.

Shireen is also a founder member of Moulik Odhikar Shurokkha Committee (Committee for the Protection of Fundamental Rights) in Bangladesh.

Shireen is an active member of the Advisory Committee of the International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific on whose behalf she has conducted training on CEDAW, conducted workshops on the preparation of Shadow/Alternative Reports and facilitated consultations on the CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Observations in different parts of the world.

From 1987-2006 she worked as an advisor to DANIDA in Bangladesh on women’s development, poverty reduction and human rights.

Shireen was educated at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, The Evergreen State College in the USA and the University of Sussex in UK.

Jibrin Ibrahim

Jibrin Ibrahim Commonwealth People's Forum 2015 speakerJibrin Ibrahim is currently a Visiting Professor of Political Science at Babcock University, Ilishan and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abuja where he was Director until November 2013.

Professor Ibrahim received degrees in Political Science from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and a doctorate in Politics from the University of Bordeaux in France. He taught political science in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for twenty years and retired as an Associate Professor in Political Science at the Ahmadu Bello University and Research Professor at the Institute of Federalism in Fribourg, Switzerland among several other academic accomplishments, Dr. Ibrahim has lectured, published and consulted extensively on democratisation and governance in Africa.

Renwick Rose

Renwick RoseRenwick Rose of St Vincent and the Grenadines has been a long-time social and political activist in the Caribbean. He has a background in teaching and journalism and today is still a weekly columnist for one of his country’s leading newspaper, SEARCHLIGHT, and also sits on its Board of Directors.

Mr Rose is perhaps best known for his efforts in helping to build the Windward Islands Farmers’ Association (WINFA) and for his advocacy on behalf of Caribbean banana farmers in the face of the so-called “banana wars” of the nineties and early 21st century, defending their rights to fair treatment in trade arrangements. He also pioneered access to the Fir Trade label for banana farmers in the islands.

A committed regionalist, Mr Rose was one of the founders of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), the umbrella organisation of Caribbean civil society groups and currently is Chairman of its Board of Directors. He is also Chairman of the EU/Caribbean Joint Consultative Committee on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Cariforum states.

Mr Rose was, in addition, one of the founders of the ACP Civil Society Forum and has wide experience participating in international fora on trade, economic and social issues.

See all speaker biographies...