The available literature suggests that natural disasters, especially droughts and floods, were occurring in southern Africa in the early 1900s. However, their frequency and intensity increased during the 1980s. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the relationship between resilience to droughts and people’s well-being in southern Africa. A combination of keywords was used to search the following 13 electronic bibliographic databases: Africa Journal Online (AJOL), MEDLINE, Academic Search Complete, Environment Complete, Humanities International Complete, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, PsycINFO, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, Applied Social Science Index and Abstracts, ProQuest Central, and CINAHL. Relevant websites were also searched and potential studies for inclusion were downloaded in an EndNote database and screened for eligibility using pre-determined criteria. Quality assessment of the studies was undertaken using the Joana Briggs Qualitative Assessment and Review Instrument, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) checklist, and the Authority, Accuracy, Coverage, Objectivity, Date, Significance (AACODS) checklist. Resilience and well-being scales used in the studies for inclusion were also assessed using pre-defined criteria. Nineteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Poverty alleviation policies were important in strengthening resilience and well-being outcomes. Resilience and well-being were connected by old age, gender, race, adaptive farming and livelihoods diversification, security, and knowledgeability. Resilience and well-being outcomes were advanced by the synergistic effect of household, community and governance level capacities encapsulated in knowledgeability. This systematic review is critical to improving southern Africa context-specific resilience, and well-being policies and interventions.
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