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Vulnerability and Global Change. Vulnerability Defencelessness, insecurity (internal vulnerability); exposure to risk, shock (external vulnerability)

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Presentation on theme: "Vulnerability and Global Change. Vulnerability Defencelessness, insecurity (internal vulnerability); exposure to risk, shock (external vulnerability)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Vulnerability and Global Change

2 Vulnerability Defencelessness, insecurity (internal vulnerability); exposure to risk, shock (external vulnerability) (Chambers, 1989). The characteristics of a person or group in terms of their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from impacts of a hazard (Blaikie et al). Production, consumption, assets and claims (entitlement theory) (Swift, 1989). Vulnerability is multi-layered and multidimensional social space defined by the determinate political, economic and institutional capabilities of people in specific places at specific times (Watts and Bohle, 1993). Vulnerability and capacity/resilience: protection of one’s livelihood (Anderson and Woodrow, 1989).

3 New Research Issues (National Academy of Sciences, 1999) Understanding sensitivity and vulnerability to environmental variations and changes. Human consequences of environmental change depend on the sensitivity and vulnerability of social systems and on their ability to adapt to environmental change.

4 Theories Underpinning Vulnerability Research

5 Vulnerability linked to livelihoods ASSETS / ENTITLEMENTS Tangible and Intangible e.g. Labour, human capital, productive assets. Food entitlements e.g. food household can obtain (Sen, 1989) Extent to which people can adapt linked to assets at their disposal. FORM basis of hhld’s entitlements

6 Analysis of hunger and famine based on entitlements must account for: The particular distribution of entitlements and how these are reproduced The larger canvas of rights by which entitlements are fought over, contested (empowerment) Structural properties – crisis proneness for the political economy which precipitates entitlement crisis (Watts and Bohle, 1993) Totality of processesdefine a space/social map of vulnerability

7 Multiple Causality: Mapping a space of vulnerability A BC Class based patterns of social reproduction (surplus production) Command over food Totality of rights (endow- ments) (enfranchise -ments Economic Capability Property relations Class Power ENTITLEMENT EMPOWERMENT POLITICAL ECONOMY A: Vulnerability by lack of POTENTIALITY B: Vulnerability by EXPOSURE C: Vulnerability by lack of CAPACITY Space of Vulnerability (Watts and Bohle, 1993)

8 The 1949 Malawi Famine Women, very old, very young Casual labourers Artisans, informal traders Self-employed, tobacco farmers, maize traders Urban workers, employees tobacco industry Low vulnerability Medium vulnerability High vulnerability Pre-famine situation Famine situation Watts and Bohle, 1993

9 Double Structure of Vulnerability (After Bohle, 2001) THE DOUBLE STRUCTURE OF VULNERABILITY Crisis and Conflict Theory Political Economy Approaches The “external” side of vulnerability The “internal” side of vulnerability EXPOSURE COPING Human Ecological Perspectives Entitlement Theory Models of Access to Assets Action Theory Approaches

10 Resilience/Resistance/Persistence Ability to withstand a shock/perturbation Coping /adaptive capacity DiversificationHuman and Financial Resources Exploiting Opportunities Recovery from Negative effects

11 Measuring Vulnerability Social Scientists Disaster Managers Humanitarian Practitioners Climate Change Scientists

12 Social Scientists

13 Socioeconomic matrix of vulnerability (Downing, 1995) GLOBAL CONTEXT Markets Demand for natural resources Foreign investment International agreements and cooperation Inter-regional cooperation Technology transfer Trade agreements International aid policies Development lending Structural adjustment Environmental conditionality NATIONAL CONTEXT Markets Transportation Prices Financial markets Policy Roads and infrastructure Price supports and subsidies Extension services REGIONAL/LOCAL CONTEXT Settlement patterns Localized population pressures Resource distribution Interest groups Conflicts over resources Coalition and alliances HOUSEHOLD/COMMUNITY CONTEXT Gender relations Division of labour and resource access control Family size and composition Control over fertility Family/community strategies Access to resources Income sources and employment Temporary migration

14 Sustainable rural livelihoods: Framework (Chambers and Conway, 1992; Carney, 1998)

15 Disaster Managers

16 Schematic Outline of Vulnerability Increased Vulnerability Exposure to Hazards and Threats LACK OF RESOURCES Income Assets Social Support Etc… LACK OF ACCESS Health Services Credit Information Etc… Reduced Capacity to Cope and Recover (After Wisner, 1993)

17 Traditional Approaches to Disaster Management

18 Expand – Contract Process

19 Humanitarian Practitioners

20 Some approaches to vulnerability assessment Income estimation Incomes are estimates at various levels to determine if sufficient income was generated to purchase food. Large secondary data sets required. Household modelling Household food economy surveys done (how families obtain food and cash income for any given year) and how remittances contribute to family cash income. Areas/groups are identified that are vulnerable to acute hunger Indicator approach Subjective and objective indicators that are assumed to cover various aspects of vulnerability in a given area. Provides a relative measure of vulnerability in a given area. Provides a relative measure of vulnerability usually to at least the 3 rd administrative level. Domestic Resource Capacity Approach Direct measure of vulnerability. Measure of capacity as well as vulnerability (coping in terms of incomes and assets)

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