Good Practices Report on Integrating CBS into Community Resilience Programs


Community resilience (CR) is “the ability of communities -and their members - exposed to disasters, crises and underlying vulnerabilities to anticipate, prepare for, reduce the impact of, cope with and recover from the effects of shocks and stresses without compromising their longterm prospects». The IFRC Roadmap to Community Resilience establishes 11 dimensions of a resilient community in line with areas of work of the Red Cross Red Crescent (RC) Movement 
such as disaster risk reduction, livelihoods, health, water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH), education, social protection.

Over the past years, the RC has moved towards a more integrated approach for these programmatic areas grounding them around the concept of community resilience and developed frameworks and tools for it. 

Strengthening health in communities is a key pillar to increase community resilience. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has developed guidelines, approaches and tools specifically for strengthening health and care in communities over the long term1 and for responding to health in emergencies (e.g. health issues arising in the wake of natural disasters and conflicts) and health emergencies ( e.g., epidemic outbreaks).

Community Based Surveillance (CBS) is one of the approaches and tools developed in the past 10 years to better respond to outbreaks, as it empowers communities to detect potential infectious disease outbreaks or other threats in the community, alert the local authorities and RC National Society (NS), and start a community-based response while awaiting further investigation and action. Experience in the past years has shown that CBS is rarely a stand-alone approach, it works best when integrated into other community-based programs/projects. 

To facilitate integration of CBS into community resilience projects – whether these have health or other components, the Danish Red Cross has requested the development of a Guidance Notes document that would serve as a simple, practical guide for staff supporting implementation of community resilience projects having a CBS component, in countries where Danish RC works bilaterally. 

To develop these guidance notes, a first step was to identify and document challenges, good practices, and lessons learnt around integration of CBS into community resilience projects. This Good Practices Report provides the basis for the guidance notes by showing what works in the integration of CBS into CR programs and providing concrete examples. While the Guidance Notes is intended as a stand-alone document, users of the notes can refer to this Good Practices Report for examples.


Produced by Danish Red Cross with support from Alanda Health