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Integrating rural livelihood resilience and sustainability for post-disaster community relocation: a theoretical framework and empirical study


  • Xuanmei Yang

    (Tongji University
    University of Florida)

  • Xiangyu Li

    (Oklahoma State University)

  • Kaifa Lu

    (University of Florida)

  • Zhong-Ren Peng

    (University of Florida)


The concepts of resilience and sustainability are becoming popular in disaster planning and management. However, there is an absence of mutual considerations of the two concepts from an integrated perspective to promote post-disaster livelihood, particularly in the relocated rural communities. To fill the research gap, this paper explores the factors and relationships of resilient rural livelihoods (RRL) and sustainable rural livelihoods (SRL) in resettlement communities after a major disaster. Specifically, we construct a theoretical model that integrates resources, strategies, and outcomes of RRL and SRL in the recovery phase. We use a dataset for household-level recovery after the Jiangsu Tornado (2016) in China to validate the theoretical model with a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach. Results show that government-driven, recovery-concentrated policies of “resilience” may not promote the long-term sustainability of rural household livelihoods because financial capital and institutional participation are negatively associated with the community’s self-reliance for future disaster recovery. The tangible assets are likely to make people more confident in disaster preparedness, while the intangible assets lack such an impact and even make the relocated households concerned about future disasters. For RRL outcomes, financial capital and socio-political capital can enhance the recovery, while human capital and livelihood strategies have negative effects. In addition, natural capital and financial capital positively affect household recovery, but the human capital remains a negative contributor. These findings clearly reveal the general patterns of rural livelihoods in relocated communities after a disaster and provide insights into potential measures to promote sustainable and resilient rural livelihoods.

Suggested Citation

  • Xuanmei Yang & Xiangyu Li & Kaifa Lu & Zhong-Ren Peng, 2023. "Integrating rural livelihood resilience and sustainability for post-disaster community relocation: a theoretical framework and empirical study," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 116(2), pages 1775-1803, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:nathaz:v:116:y:2023:i:2:d:10.1007_s11069-022-05739-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s11069-022-05739-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Barsha Shrestha & Sanjaya Uprety & Jiba Raj Pokharel, 2023. "Factors Influencing Housing Satisfaction in Post-Disaster Resettlement: A Case of Nepal," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(17), pages 1-26, August.

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