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The interplay among household decision-making, gender relations and climate change adaptation policies. Evidence from a quasi-experimental impact study in the Morogoro region, Tanzania.

This research connects to one of the most pressing issue on the development agenda for the coming decades, i.e. climate change and more particularly the need to design effective coping and adaptation strategies in the south. It starts from the observation that thus far micro-level adaptation policies are generally targeted at households, and thus implicitly assume that households act as neutral intermediaries among policy-makers and individuals. This is in sharp contrast to intrahousehold allocation literature which has over the past decade demonstrated that the household does not typically function as a unit with one utility maximizing function where different members pool resources. In fact, it is more likely that the household functions as a locus of cooperation and conflict and that bargaining processes among different household members with different preferences and bargaining power determine whose preferences finally prevail. Strongly diverging preferences and behaviour, oftentimes structured along gender lines, have been recorded in many areas, including in how to adapt to climate change, and in how to manage and conserve natural resources. However, and somehow to our surprise, there has thus far been little cross-reading among climate change adaptation research and intra-household allocation literature. This is exactly what this research projects aims to do. We will in particular zoom into agricultural and water related adaptation interventions in the Rwenzori region in Uganda, an area which is strongly affected by climate change. We will compare the impact of interventions which use slightly different delivery modes that can be traced back to different assumptions about household decision-making. We will compare the impact of interventions targeted at households with interventions targeted at individuals, more specifically women. The study will use a quasi-experimental research design to arrive at conclusions regarding causal inferences, and combine this with qualitative methods to get insight into men's and women's perceptions of how they are affected by climate change, and how and why they respond in particular ways. This research will add to the relatively scarce robust impact studies on the topic and it is particularly relevant against the background of a growing acknowledgement that successful adaptation is not only influenced by technological innovation but also largely shaped by local norms and institutions.
Date:1 Oct 2012  →  30 Sep 2016
Disciplines:Economic development, innovation, technological change and growth, Social work, Other sociology and anthropology