Why Do Social Connections Matter for Resilience and Recovery?
Across a range of contexts, research has shown the critical importance of social connections - especially during times of crisis - in enabling populations to manage shocks and stresses. In South Sudan, these social connections are a lifeline for many households during the ongoing crisis. The South Sudanese rely on their social networks - often more than they rely on external aid - to cope and recover. When humanitarian actors fail to understand the role and importance of people’s social connections, they risk inadvertently harming these underlying support structures.
Marketlinks hosted a webinar on September 5th, 2019 with Alex Humphrey, Jeeyon Kim and Vaidehi Krishnan from Mercy Corps, to present on the ongoing USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)-funded research in South Sudan. They discussed their effort to understand and measure how household social connectedness links to resilience, and highlighted the implications of research findings for returns and recovery in South Sudan. Participants gained insights into how they might unpack the role of social connectedness in their own program contexts.
Alex Humphrey manages field research programming for Mercy Corps in South Sudan.
Jeeyon Kim is the Senior Researcher for Resilience at Mercy Corps, where she leads research related to resilience in fragile contexts.
Vaidehi Krishnan (Vai) has a background in program management and technical support for Mercy Corps’ cash and economic opportunity programs in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Laura Meissner is the Economic Recovery and Markets Advisor for USAID’s Office of U.S.