Equity in Building Resilience in Adaptation Planning

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Created: 2/05/2015 -


What constitutes strengthening resilience through equitable adaptation planning? How do we assess the context comprehensively so that effective methods are designed? To be able to declare that community resilience has been achieved, we must develop systems that address the needs and provide protection for those most vulnerable and marginalized.

What about the elderly woman who has a physical disability, has no private vehicle, lives in a flood plain, and has no homeowner’s insurance? What infrastructure and other improvements are we implementing that will effectively strengthen her resilience to the next disaster? What about the African American child with asthma who lives next to a coal plant? What will we do to strengthen his resilience as he faces the next heat wave which concentrates pollution, activates his asthma, and jeopardizes his life? How do we make sure he has access for emergency health needs while working on the political context that allows 68% of African Americans to be situated near these facilities?

As a conversation-starter for deepening work around incorporating intersectionality in equitable adaptation planning, the NAACP has developed a sample list of indicators/measures of vulnerability and resilience in terms of infrastructure, community/population characteristics, systems, policies, programs/services, protocols , and governance/decision making. This is not an inclusive list. Because these are examples, the indicators span the impacts of climate change including shifts in agricultural yields, sea level rise, and extreme weather.


Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Monitor climate change impacts and adaptation efficacy
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Air temperature
Culture / communities
Infrastructure damage
Public health risks
Public safety threats
Sea level rise
Water quality
Water supply
United States