Malian children face myriad challenging life and societal conditions and demands— including chronic poverty, food insecurity, violence, and deprivation—that affect their well-being and positive youth development. To address this critical need, in 2015, UNICEF included resilience as a key strategic pillar in its Mali country program (2015−2019) to support planning, programming, and policy. In 2014, UNICEF brought together Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (TU/DRLA) and the University of Science, Techniques and Technology of Bamako (USTTB) to generate greater understanding of child resilience in Mali through the ResilientChild: Mali project and the application of a resilience analytical framework. The purpose of the ResilientChild: Mali collaboration was to design, apply, and validate a highly contextualized, multi-method approach to knowledge creation that captured a holistic and comprehensive understanding of child resilience. The ResilientChild: Mali project applied the TU/DRLA systems approach to understand child resilience in Mali through an iterative process that integrated contextual knowledge, resilience theory and metrics, and measurement. This ResilientChild:
Mali Analytical Framework was applied to select communities to build knowledge sequentially, with each investigation informing and refining the next. Each level of discovery and new knowledge built on prior findings to establish a foundation of contextualized knowledge that drew on different stakeholder perspectives and employed multiple means of data collection. The ResilientChild: Mali Analytical Framework reflects a step-by-step process that integrates local priorities, key stakeholder engagement, and tailored indicator development to produce contextually relevant measures of pathways to resilience. The study sought to better understand the individual, household, and community factors that contribute to child resilience in Mali. These basic research tools were supplemented by advanced statistical analyses to better understand the predictors of and pathways to child resilience in Mali.