The ability of a person or community to effectively, confidently, and sustainably place a claim on the resources necessary to achieve a specific health objective or to overcome specific health-related difficulties.

Building on the Capability Approach, resourcefulness aims to open up the black box of the transformations that occur around mobilising human capabilities and resources to improve collective health and wellbeing, understanding that long-term sustainability and resilience with regards to health and wellbeing is a complex and multi-faceted problem. By looking in depth at the processes and convergences of resources and capabilities, drawing on participatory methods, design and development practices, we can form better ideas of how to enhance the resourcefulness of places and people.

Resourcefulness principles:

  • Low-resource settings undoubtedly have constrained resources when it comes to health
  • However, these settings do have certain resources that could be uncovered and better mobilised/orchestrated to improve a community’s health
  • Fundamental to this is an understanding that physical resources are inextricable from their social functions and symbolic meanings
  • Successful interventions are supported by a set of diverse resources such as material, natural, social, economic and knowledge based resources
  • Non-physical resources are always instrumental in developing successful interventions, social and knowledge based resources such as social networks and traditional knowledge are crucial to unlocking resourcefulness