Community Capitals and Community Resilience in Rural Oromia, Ethiopia: The Case of East Hararghe
Community resilience, i.e., the ability of a community to utilize available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations, highly depends on the condition of community capitals. This paper examines the state of community capitals, considering the case of the rural community in East Hararghe. Data were gathered through in-depth interviews, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and observations. The findings show that the stocks of the various capitals of the community are too low to contribute to moderate resilience. The negative interplay of the capitals of the community has led to a spiralling-down effect on each capital and exposed the community to severe vulnerability in the face of frequent shocks and disturbances. To reverse this condition and improve the resilience of the community, the results indicate the importance of first dealing with the long-established experiences of the community which are locking up community capitals and hence blocking community resilience; before attempting any other intervention. “Training for Transformation” is, therefore, suggested to be given to the community to enable it to reflect critically on its current situation and the cognitive and cultural impediments to change. This is expected to assist the community to integrate outside interventions productively and to increase its capabilities in using its own resources in its local environment.
Keywords: Community Capitals; Farmers; Resilience; Rural; Smallholders; Vulnerability