Building Confidence in the Future

Perennial questions for national resilience include:  ‘What does resilience look like?’, ‘How resilient do we need to be?’ and ‘How do we know we’re doing enough?’.

The imperative for strengthening national-level resilience is acute, as is well recognised in the recent Integrated Review Refresh, UK Government Resilience Framework, and National Risk Register. Response strategies will need to take many different forms, function in concert with each other, and evolve over time. Notwithstanding trade-offs with other priorities, required levels of intervention, investment, and mobilisation are becoming ever more elevated.

Against this backdrop, improving our ability to measure how resilient we are as a nation is vital. We need a better understanding of how well organised we are for resilience, whether our efforts are deployed in the best ways, and if we are doing enough. This will encourage more effective governance, more astute decision-making, and more targeted investment.

Measuring resilience is, however, fraught with difficulty. Efforts must appreciate the different ways in which different risks test households, organisations, and the public sector. They must acknowledge the utility of different forms of resilience for different risks and take a view as to where responsibility for resilience lies across different sectors. And they must recognise that exposures and coping capacity vary by locality, socioeconomic group, and industry. Indeed, levels of resilience will alter over time as risks grow or diminish, vulnerabilities change, and resources
for response vary in availability.

Building Confidence in the Future – a report prepared for NPC by Marsh McLennan -introduces a framework for understanding and analysing national ambitions, capabilities, and mobilisation towards resilience outcomes.  It offers multiple lenses through which to make sense of complexity and outlines a number of analytical approaches that generate insight into performance and progress.