Women central to an effective response to changing climates
#BalanceforBetter Climate change is now accepted as a global crisis, but solutions have so far been inadequate and have largely ignored human and gender dimensions. This is despite the fact that marginalised and poor people, including women, are affected first and hit hardest. Recent evidence indicates that women’s views, needs and their participation has been largely excluded from the design and planning of climate change responses, including major policies. Moreover, women are often perceived primarily as victims, and not as equal […]
Building resilience from the weakest links
The weakest link is the limit of strength of the chain. No matter how strong the other links are, individually, the chain can be no stronger. When we engage in international development, we are often challenged to work at the system level. We are expected as outsiders to be able to understand the complex and complicated series of interconnections of interrelated causes and effects. But in these systems, doesn’t it follow that the poorest and most hazard prone are the […]
Market based resilience building in Bangladesh
For the past week I have been visiting the Practical Action programme in Bangladesh to support their work on resilience programming. I attended the wrap up meeting of the GRP Project, worked with the consultant team undertaking the final external evaluation of the project, helped staff in the flood resilience programme design activities for the next phase of the project and attended the meeting of the Markets Development forum. Bangladesh is a relatively young nation achieving independence in 1971 and […]
Technology for Development
Why is technology justice central to international development? As history demonstrates, technology provides a catalyst for change. Practical Action has been working on flood Early Warning Systems (EWS) for over ten years and we have seen not only technology adoption taking place but also social change occurring. At the Technology for Development conference the focus is very much on the former, but in my active participation and interaction with the conference delegates I am interested to explore the latter. Looking […]
The Climate Damages Tax, an idea whose time has come!
Pollution must be brought under control and mankind’s population and consumption of resources must be steered towards a permanent and sustainable equilibrium. E.F Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered. According to the last global review Natural Hazards resulted in 9,503 deaths, 96 million people being affected, and economic costs in excess of US$314 billion. Weather-related events were responsible for the majority of both human and economic losses. Almost 90% of the deaths in 2017 were due to climatological, […]
Women as a force to build resilience
Many risk drivers are created by development choices at global or national levels, but all are manifested at the local level, so local people must be central to risk reduction practice. But it is important to recognise that in these communities it is the disabled, elderly, women and girls who are the most at risk. For example, women accounted for 61% of fatalities caused by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008, 70-80% in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and 91% […]
Enhancing Flood Resilience through Livelihood adaptation
“The 2014 flood was worse than the 2009 flood but the loss and damage was less because people had learned from the earlier event.” Dinanath Bhandari I am currently visiting the Practical Action Nepal flood resilience project in the western region, which has been supported by the Z Zurich foundation for the last five years. The project is working in 74 flood vulnerable communities adjacent to the Karnali River, located in the Terai plains, the flat lands that connect Nepal […]
Financial capital and development, where’s the problem?
When Fritz Schumacher wrote “Small is Beautiful” he used the book to highlight two key challenges. The first that traditional development wasn’t working, he highlighted that it was failing to overcome pervasive and underlying challenges and second, that the economic assumptions guiding this development were flawed. He argued eloquently for a new approach to development, an economic development model in which finite resources were recognised and that the aim wasn’t capital accumulation but human wellbeing. Development in which people not […]
Loss and Damage at COP23
Taking the Loss and Damage debate beyond the contentious issue of compensation to identify the mechanisms needed to address the losses and damages occurring as a consequence of climate change, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable. The 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) was held under the presidency of Fiji. This is the first time a highly disaster-vulnerable country has been the president of a COP, and hence disaster and climate resilience featured heavily on the agenda. In particular […]
Why the snail’s pace on tackling Loss and Damage?
We may all be sailing on the same ocean, living together in the same canoe, but it’s clear not everyone has their hands on the rudder. OR Can the five year work plan of the Warsaw International Mechanism deliver for Loss and Damage and Sustainable Development? This week representatives from around the world gather in Bonn, Germany for the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known informally as COP23. The president of […]