Resilience to shocks in Malawian households

Elizabeth Mubanga Chishimba & Paul N. Wilson

Building up resilience in agricultural households has assumed a critical role in development strategies in recent years because, it is argued, the costs of strengthening resilience are less than the recurring expenditure for disaster assistance. Relying on large household datasets from 2010 and 2013, we explored the resilience of Malawian households to the exogenous shocks of flooding and currency devaluation during this period. We utilised two strategies for understanding resilience. The first, a classification framework pioneered by Briguglio and others, categorises households into resilience and vulnerability spaces. The second approach employs econometric analysis to explore food security resilience. These two complementary analyses reveal that infrastructure, assets, education and non-agricultural employment opportunities contribute most to food security resilience.