Climate variability and extreme events continue to impose significant challenges to households, particularly to those that are less resilient. By exploring the resilience capacity of rural Ethiopian households after the drought shock occurred in 2011, using panel data, this paper shows important socio-economic and policy determinants of households' resilience capacity. Three policy indications emerge from the analysis. First, government support programmes, such as the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), appear to sustain households' resilience by helping them to reach the level of pre-shock total consumption, but have no impact on the food-consumption resilience. Secondly, the 'selling out assets strategy' affects positively households' resilience, but only in terms of food consumption ' not total consumption. Finally, the presence of informal institutions, such as social networks providing financial support, sharply increases households' resilience by helping them to reach preshock levels of both food consumption and total consumption.