We need to step back from the discussion about the multiple meanings of resilience, how it can be focused and measured, and put resilience building projects into a framework for making sense out of systems. If we do not know, or cannot agree on what kind of system is being managed by resilience building projects, it will be impossible to decide on an appropriate project design. Activities, objectives and indicators will be a muddle of intervention parts that belong to different systems.
Of the multiple meanings of resilience, the only sensible way to give it focused meaning is by answering the question: resilience of what system to what kind of disturbance? As different cultures have different beliefs that affect their mental maps of the world, the question of ‘resilience for whom?’ is as important as ‘resilience of what to what?’. Without focused meaning, resilience will remain a fuzzy idea that will defy attempts to define management objectives with technically sound indicators for projects intended to enhance the resilience of livelihood systems.