Reconciling well-being and resilience for sustainable development

Tomas Chaigneau*, Sarah Coulthard, Tim M. Daw, Lucy Szaboova, Laura Camfield, F. Stuart Chapin, Des Gasper, Georgina G. Gurney, Christina C. Hicks, Maggie Ibrahim, Thomas James, Lindsey Jones, Nathanial Matthews, Colin McQuistan, Belinda Reyers, Katrina Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


Securing well-being and building resilience in response to shocks are often viewed as key goals of sustainable development. Here, we present an overview of the latest published evidence, as well as the consensus of a diverse group of scientists and practitioners drawn from a structured analytical review and deliberative workshop process. We argue that resilience and well-being are related in complex ways, but in their applications in practice they are often assumed to be synergistic. Although theoretically compatible, evidence we present here shows that they may in fact work against each other. This has important implications for policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293
Number of pages7
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This Perspective results from the ESPA Insights into Resilience and Wellbeing: Research Frontiers for Sustainable Development project (NE/P008321/1) funded by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme. The ESPA programme is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Crown.

Research programs



Dive into the research topics of 'Reconciling well-being and resilience for sustainable development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this