Separating the Wheat from the Weeds: Resilience Fixes and Transformative Resilience in Response to Climate Disasters  AND  Resilience: An Evaluation Thinking Perspective



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This recording includes two presentations. Dr. Ajibade's talk engages with the all-too-easily-taken-for granted separation between resilience as stability and resilience as transformation after disasters. It examines whether strategies adopted after mega-disasters are transforming cities in ways that foster egalitarian urbanism or reinforce capitalist urbanization. To address this issue, she mobilizes the notion of ‘a resilience fix’, returning to Harvey’s influential thesis on spatial fix which describes the intrinsic need of capital to overcome its crisis of overaccumulation by deepening its spread through the production of spaces and the built environment. She combines this thesis with an interrogation of metabolic circulations and the governmentality of space to advance a robust understanding of a resilience fix and its recursive relations with urban transformations. A case study of a ten-year post-disaster reconstruction in Metro-Manila is used to provide empirical context of how resilience fixes operate through political economy structures, land use planning, technology adoption, and risk management regimes, to decenter those who experience the double violence of capitalist urbanization and disaster capitalism while naturalizes utopian-development, citizen surveillance, and the retreat of the poor from the city. This paper challenges resilience fixes as solutions to climatic disasters and calls attention to new resistance politics and counter-strategies aimed at transformative resilience.

Dr. Einspruch's talk examines how evaluation may be seen as a transdiscipline that provides services and tools to other disciplines, as well as a discipline in its own right. This talk explores some fundamental evaluation concepts and contemporary developments in the field of evaluation, as they relate to an evaluation thinking perspective, with consideration of diverse points of view and the importance of thinking about thinking. This evaluation thinking perspective will be brought to the critically important topic of resilience, with reflection on how resilience may be expressed at different levels of organization (for example, the individual level and the community level), and set within the context of the current state of the environment.

Biographical Information

Dr. Jola Idowu Ajibade is an assistant professor of Geography at PSU. She applies an environmental justice and political ecology lens to study how communities and cities respond to climate change and their capacities for adaptation and transformation. Specifically, she examines the politics of adaptation, demonstrating how historical injustices, state practices, relocation programs, and utopian solutions to climate change intertwined with exclusionary planning policies and development patterns to undermine marginalized communities. Dr. Ajibade articulates multiple solutions and pathways to climate adaptation including partnering with grassroots coalitions, frontline communities, Indigenous groups, social entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Dr. Ajibade's work has been published in a variety of journals and featured in Science Friday, NPR, Yale Environment 360, New Internationalist, and Vice.

Dr. Eric Einspruch is the Principal of ELE Consulting, LLC, an independent research and program evaluation firm. Over the past 35 years he has conducted a wide variety of studies to inform policy development and program improvement. Dr. Einspruch is also an Adjunct Professor with the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health and with the PSU College of Urban and Public Affairs. Among his recognitions, he received PSU’s first Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award for Research. His service to community has included leadership roles in volunteer professional association and emergency preparedness groups.


Emergency management -- United States -- Evaluation, Resilience (Ecology), Climatic changes -- Social aspects, Environmental management


Emergency and Disaster Management

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Separating the Wheat from the Weeds: Resilience Fixes and Transformative Resilience in Response to Climate Disasters  AND  Resilience: An Evaluation Thinking Perspective