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egs 3021f vulnerability to environmental change gina ziervogel gina@csag uct ac za december 2011 n.
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Section 3: Vulnerability Methods

Section 3: Vulnerability Methods

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Section 3: Vulnerability Methods

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  1. EGS 3021F: Vulnerability to Environmental Change Gina Ziervogel (gina@csag.uct.ac.za) December 2011 Section 3:Vulnerability Methods This work by Gina Ziervogel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  2. An aggregate measure of human welfare that integrates environmental, social, economic and political exposure to a range of harmful perturbations. Vulnerability is… (Bohle et al. 1994)

  3. How do we assess vulnerability? • How do we develop a consensual definition vulnerability? • How do we measure vulnerability?

  4. Choosing appropriate VA methods • The context should drive the choice of methodology and methods • decision goals, analytical teams, priority vulnerabilities • User orientation • An array of methods is essential: the most useful tools are those that fit the decision framework of the end-users • Scale of analysis important in selection of methods • e.g. appropriate indicators, availability of data

  5. Scoping of assessment

  6. Scoping of assessment

  7. Initial Vulnerability Assessment questions • What hazards and stresses are systems exposed to? • e.g., economic risks (income loss, debt), natural hazards • Who/ what are the exposure units? • e.g., social groups, ecosystems, regions • Where are the vulnerable located? • When are people/systems vulnerable? • What are the specific reasons for their vulnerability? • e.g., dependence on particular resources, reliance on certain subsidies, social marginalisation

  8. Initial Vulnerability Assessment questions • How resilient are the exposure units to current stresses? • institutional capacity, absorption capacity of ecosystems, diversity of income sources • What would be the consequences of exposure to stresses? • loss of assets, loss of livelihood, unemployment, loss of life? • What has been the impact of historical episodes or comparable events? • What indicators capture current and future vulnerability under the proposed scenarios? • What potential responses can be pursued to reduce vulnerability? • operational, strategic, policy/regulatory • scale

  9. Synthesize existing data • Impact assessments • Strategic environmental assessments • Livelihoods based analysis • Consultations • From Expert judgement, Focus groups & Stakeholder consultation • Past trends and future scenarios work • Scenario analysis • Evaluation of existing development frameworks Establish new data needed

  10. Tools in a VA Toolkit • Agent-based simulation modeling • Bayesian analysis • Brainstorming • Checklists/multiple attributes • Cognitive Mapping • Cost-effectiveness/Cost-benefit/Expected Value • Cost Impact Analysis • Decision conferencing • Decision/probability trees • Delphi technique • Environmental assessment/ Strategic Environmental Assessment • Expert judgment • Focus groups • Indicators/mapping • Influence diagrams/mapping tools • Multi-criterion analysis • Ranking/dominance analysis/pairwise comparisons • Risk analysis • Role-play • Scenario analysis • Stakeholder consultation • Stakeholder thematic networks • Vulnerability Profiles • Wealth ranking (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  11. Steps in VA Assessment • Scope assessment • Decide on initial VA questions • Establish existing data • Choose appropriate tools to obtain necessary data Buzz group: What is the aim of scoping the assessment?

  12. Tools in a VA Toolkit • Agent-based simulation modeling • Bayesian analysis • Brainstorming • Checklists/multiple attributes • Cognitive Mapping • Cost-effectiveness/Cost-benefit/Expected Value • Cost Impact Analysis • Decision conferencing • Decision/probability trees • Delphi technique • Environmental assessment/ Strategic Environmental Assessment • Expert judgment • Focus groups • Indicators/mapping • Influence diagrams/mapping tools • Multi-criterion analysis • Ranking/dominance analysis/pairwise comparisons • Risk analysis • Role-play • Scenario analysis • Stakeholder consultation • Stakeholder thematic networks • Vulnerability Profiles • Wealth ranking (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  13. Vulnerability assessment techniques • Livelihood vulnerability • Qualitative methods • Quantitative methods • Indicators and mapping • Agent-based modelling • Scenarios (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  14. Vulnerability of livelihoods • What is a livelihood? • Set of activities • Assets • Access Improve or continue existence

  15. Vulnerability of livelihoods • Assets • Human • Social • Financial • Physical • Natural Improve or continue existence

  16. Evaluating sustainable livelihoods • Sustainable Livelihoods: The capability of people to make a living and improve their quality of life without jeopardizing the livelihood options of others. • Sustainability implies: • Ability to cope with and recover from stresses and shocks • Economic effectiveness and social equity • Ecological integrity • Resilience to shocks (Rennie and Singh, 1996)

  17. Benefits of livelihoods approach to VA An analysis of livelihoods helps VA users to: • Identify the most vulnerable groups and individuals at a community or regional scale • Emphasize the links between policy decisions and household level activities • Focus not just on incomes, but also relations, institutions, access and control of resources • Identify the sensitivity of different livelihoods to stresses, and assess their vulnerabilities and strengths • Captures lessons on how to build community resilience

  18. Assessing the vulnerability of livelihoods • Qualitative • Participatory • Semi-structured Interviews • Quantitative • Surveys • Indicators • Mapping (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  19. Qualitative methods • Participatory approaches • Village mapping • Seasonal calendars • Matrices • Pair-wise ranking • Venn diagrams • Time line • Wealth ranking • Semi-structured questions • Focus groups • Role-play methods • Oral histories (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  20. Climatic calendars (Archer et al, 2008)

  21. Climatic calendars (Archer et al, 2008)

  22. Cognitive mapping • A cognitive model that captures diverse nature of the problem • Useful tool when: • different stakeholders have different perceptions of the problem • the options for addressing a problem are unclear (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  23. Cognitive mapping process • State the problem • Brainstorm assumptions and solutions • Group emerging concepts • Re-illustrate the concepts so they form a conceptual model • Go back to participants • Formal cognitive model (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  24. Multiple,inter-related and indirect impacts… By Emma Archer

  25. Role play • To creatively remove people from their usual roles and assumptions by involving them as a group in analytic thinking and assessment (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  26. Role play process • Open-ended story/ written case description • Describe the setting for the action • Participants asked to act out potential scenarios • Record • Tape/video • Participant feedback • Observer descriptions/notes (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  27. Role-play in Lesotho By Gina Ziervogel By Gina Ziervogel

  28. (Ziervogel, 2004)

  29. Lessons learnt • Role-play enabled the question to be ‘experienced’ • Lessons for seasonal forecast dissemination • Prefer receiving information from person • Above-normal forecast helpful • Resources not necessary to respond (Ziervogel, 2004)

  30. Oral histories • Qualitative narratives of individuals’ histories and strategies • Focus: • Individual perception • Past stress and response • Used to suggest indicators • Method • Can use semi-structured interview or participatory methods to inform • Multi-stakeholder view of past (Downing and Ziervogel, 2004)

  31. Oral history example: Rangeland quality over time • General questions about perception of past rangeland quality • Use timeline • Line with 4 ticks • Anchoring events • Add: Stones represent best and worst harvest 1980 1990 2000 2010 Great-grandmother died Mozambique floods

  32. Validation of agent-based model output AGENT BASED MODEL OUTPUT *** TICK 189 *** person-2 (female) DIED AT AGE 62 OF AIDS was head of household-1 person-2 had 10 friends; person-2 had 29 relatives in 5 households (including own) person-7 (male, 36) becomes new head of household-1 burialSociety-0 pays out 360.0 Rand to household-1 for the death of its member person-2 By Gina Ziervogel Scenario presented for feedback at village workshop: Hilda dies of AIDS (62, HH head) Funeral cost (R4000); Burial society (R360); Honest becomes HHH (36)

  33. Women’s responseto scenario (Funeral cost, R4000; Burial society,R360; Honest becomes HHH, 36) By Gina Ziervogel

  34. Men’s response to scenario (Funeral cost, R4000; Burial society,R360; Honest becomes HHH, 36) By Gina Ziervogel

  35. By Gina Ziervogel

  36. Wealth ranking • Stratifications of groups within a community as understood by community members • Categories • Money, availability/access to resources, health, labour • Poor, average, better-off • Represented by colours, symbols, numbers

  37. Wealth ranking process • Establish categories • Community members place themselves/ key members place households • Consultation possible

  38. Livelihood approaches: quantitative • Indicators • Quantitative evaluation of livelihood assets • Indices By Gina Ziervogel

  39. Role-play example • 3 class volunteers (actors) • 1 student ‘in distress’ with injured hand • 1 friend • 1 emergency personnel • Scene 1: Student is panicky about accident, goes to friend for help, who tries to call for help • Scene 2: Student injures hand and is calm about it..

  40. Livelihood indicator approach

  41. Checklist How likely are the following sources of fire to cause accidents Example from Class practical 2009

  42. Indicators and mapping

  43. Vulnerability Metrics • Metrics • “A system or standard of measurement; a criterion or set of criteria stated in quantifiable terms” (Oxford English Dictionary) • Metrics important when questioning future states • Education; health • Identify thresholds • Doesn’t capture cause

  44. Indicators and mapping • Indicator: single measure of a characteristic • Index: composite measure of several indicators or indices. • Purpose • Capture spatial variation in vulnerability • Used for • guiding decision-making • prioritising intervention (Miller et al. 2005)

  45. Limitations • Caution • complex nature of vulnerability • difficulty in capturing diversity and sensitivity • Reflect explicit conceptual framework of vulnerability • Can’t compare indicators that assess different temporal and spatial scales • Units of measurement are often inconsistent (Miller et al. 2005)

  46. Indicator methodology • First identify appropriate indicators in regards to the conceptual framework • Indicators are then transformed into standard scores for mapping • Can use aggregate measures (e.g., food security index might use crop yield, income, and nutrition measures) • Explore indicator database structure What is the range of values? Are there critical thresholds for vulnerability? Are indicators correlated with each other? (Miller et al. 2005)

  47. Example: Households and drought in the Sahel: Vulnerability and effective adaptation measures • Who are the most vulnerable groups and what shapes their vulnerability in the face of climate variability and change? • What shapes the exposure to and ability of certain groups to rebound from drought hazards? • How does institutional capacity influence the capacity of the affected individuals and households to cope with/adapt to droughts and reduce vulnerability? • Will adaptive capacities change in the future? If so, how? (http://www.aiaccproject.org/)

  48. Project in Nigeria and Mali: Research Design • Rapid Rural Assessment to: • Identify major livelihood systems • Identify vulnerability indicators, • Assign weights to indicators. • Methods • Preliminary Survey • Focus Group Discussion (http://www.aiaccproject.org/)