Adaptation interventions and their effect on vulnerability in developing countries: Help, hindrance or irrelevance?
Some internationally funded interventions aimed at climate change adaptation and vulnerability reduction inadvertently reinforce, redistribute or create new sources of vulnerability. Morgan Scoville-Simonds, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for International Environmental Studies, and others highlight the four mechanisms that drive these maladaptive outcomes: (1) shallow understanding of the vulnerability context; (2) inequitable stakeholder participation; (3) a retrofitting of adaptation into existing development agendas; and (4) a lack of critical engagement with how “adaptation success” is defined (in World Development, vol. 141, 105383, 2021). As shown by emerging literature, overcoming such failures would imply (1) shifting the terms of engagement between adaptation practitioners and the local populations and (2) expanding the understanding of “local” vulnerability to encompass global contexts and drivers of vulnerability.
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