Using the Living Standards Framework to Analyse the Drivers of Social Resilience in a Disaster Management Context


  • David Wither
  • Caroline Orchiston University of Otago
  • Etienne Nel University of Otago



Resilience, Disaster management, Wellbeing, Measurement, Multi-capital frameworks


Resilience concepts now underpin the global strategic approach to risk mitigation. However, operational challenges have emerged which stem from problems with measurement. Many key drivers of social resilience are intangible and difficult to measure, which can result in their exclusion from consideration in institutional decisionmaking structures. Drawing upon a case study – the Hurunui district – which recently experienced multiple adverse events, we argue two points. First, disaster management outcomes can be improved by better accounting for intangible factors in decision making processes. Second, the Living Standards Framework, and the capital concepts embedded within it, provide a solid foundation for systematically categorising intangible factors and rendering them visible to policymakers.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

David Wither

David Wither recently completed a PhD at the University of Otago, and was a part of the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges National Science Challenge.

Caroline Orchiston, University of Otago

Caroline Orchiston is a research associate professor and director of the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago.

Etienne Nel, University of Otago

Etienne Nel is a professor and head of the School of Geography at the University of Otago.