Module 4: The CRS Integral Human Development Framework: Shocks, Vulnerability, and Strategies

Permanent Module

Module 4 introduces shocks, cycles, and trends and explains the effects of a shock on vulnerable communities. It also defines “resilience” and illustrates how building resilience helps communities to resist the negative effects of shocks, cycles and trends in order to protect their livelihoods. Through exercises and examples, students are invited to walk in the steps of the communities Catholic Relief Services serves.

The slide deck, The CRS Integral Human Development Framework: Shocks, Vulnerability, and Strategies, is this Module's core resource.  It is designed to be self-guided for use by individual learners, along with discussion questions, readings, and exercises. The slide deck can also be used as a presentation in a more traditional classroom format.

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Course materials

Module Materials


1. Define shocks, cycles and trends and identify how they are integrated into the CRS IHD framework.

2. Understand the concept of resilience and identify examples of building resilience in CRS programming.

3. Relate access to assets to the ability to recover from shocks.

4. Relate access to assets to household livelihoods strategies.


1. Why do shocks, cycles, and trends need to be considered in the CRS Integral Human Development Framework?

2. How might different strategies be effective in different situations? How are these decisions made?

3. How do the photos and images in the Module 4 slide deck illustrate the role of shocks, vulnerability, and strategies within integral human development?


Term Sheet

Primary Resources

CRS Slide Deck: The CRS Integral Human Development Framework: Shocks, Vulnerability, and Strategies


This slide deck is the core resource for Module 4. It provides an overview of the CRS Integral Human Development Conceptual Framework and explores the core components: shocks, vulnerability, and strategies.

Exercise: Coping with Multiple Shocks


Coping with one shock is difficult. Coping with successive shocks of increasing magnitude is vastly more difficult. This exercise explores situations in both Cambodia and Syria and asks how a family will cope and what others in the community, including CRS and its partners, can do to help.

Food Security: A CRS Case Study from Burkino Faso


Poor soil conditions, climate change, and sometimes damaging agricultural practices have increased the occurrence of drought and flooding in Burkina Faso, imperiling the 80% of households who survive through subsistence farming. Explore how resilience is built through the integrated FASO program. 4 pages.


CRS Video: Building Resilience through Innovation


CRS' ICT4D (Information Communications Technology for Development) program works with field staff to integrate technology into programs to help people to plan and prepare for future shocks; to help communities build back better and faster when disaster strikes; and to implement strategies that help communities to achieve longer term resilience. 5.22 minutes.

CRS Video: Emergency Shelter and Settlement Recovery


See how a signature approach to emergency shelter and settlement recovery can have a transformative impact on people’s ability to rebuild their homes, communities, and lives. 6:41 minutes.


CRS Video: Build Back Better in the Philippines


After Typhoon Haiyan, CRS Philippines staff had some fun creating a music video to show local families how the agency is working to build back more resilient homes. 3:55 minutes.

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