Equitable Resilience in Local Institutions

Development increasingly focuses on resilience as an agenda to address environmental shocks and change. Local institutions are frequently identified as important vehicles for resilience, based on the assumption that they can deliver development and disaster management decisions that are both effective and equitable. However, their ability to do so is far from clear and, worse, the academic literature has consistently highlighted the failure of resilience approaches to engage with issues of equity and power.

This project aims to fill vital knowledge, policy and practice gaps on how equitable resilience can be secured through local institutions. Building on a large body of published experiences of resilience practice, we will investigate how key themes linking equity and resilience play out in different social and environmental settings.

The research will focus on Bangladesh. According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (2015), Bangladesh is an ‘extreme risk’ country, where the risk to the economy from climate change is greater than in any other country. Thus it is imperative to understand ways to develop and promote equitable resilience. Case studies will be carried out during 2017-2018 in two distinct socio-ecological regions of Bangladesh. These include the ethnically diverse northern hill regions and the disaster prone coastal areas. With a combination of household and participatory surveys, social network analysis, systems mapping and focus group discussions, the data collected will uncover different components of the system, and the role of local institutions in building resilience in their community.

Through in-depth and qualitative case studies of nine local institutions in Bangladesh we will develop insights for policy and practice that will strengthen work on the management of environmental shocks and change in other developing countries.

Funder website: http://www.britac.ac.uk/
Project Reference: GF160026

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Project Lead: Jon Ensor

Jon Ensor

Email: jon.ensor@york.ac.uk

Co-PI: Neela Matin
Neela Matin

Researcher: Taneesha Mohan


Senior Researcher: John Forrester
John Forrester