Community Resilience in Drylands and Implications for Local Development in Tigray, Ethiopia

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/265354
Title:
Community Resilience in Drylands and Implications for Local Development in Tigray, Ethiopia
Author:
Förch, Wiebke
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Progress in human development is threatened by the complexities of global environmental change - a defining challenge of our time. Appropriate societal responses are needed to address disturbances and increasing vulnerability of social-ecological systems. This changing context calls current development thinking into question and requires new approaches, policies, and tools to cope with growing uncertainty. With a focus on capacities instead of vulnerabilities, an approach is needed emphasizing the role of communities in planning interventions and strengthening community resilience. This research draws on vulnerability, social-ecological systems and drylands development theory to advance an integrated understanding of resilience at community level and its role towards sustainable development. To develop a general approach for development actors to characterize a community's resilience and plan locally targeted interventions is the overall objective of this research. A participatory approach towards defining and assessing community resilience forms the basis, as it is assumed this would enable development actors to more efficiently address development concerns and empower communities to strengthen their resilience. Underlying factors that determine community resilience in selected dryland communities in Tigray, northeastern Ethiopia are identified. Here, most of the population depends on subsistence agriculture, while food insecurity and poverty persist despite concerted regional development efforts. This research compares and consolidates local perceptions of determinants of community resilience that form the basis for guidelines towards a methodological framework for determining levels of community resilience in Tigray. The guidelines were used to compare levels of community resilience of communities, with implications for operationalizing community resilience in the context of drylands development practice. Findings reflect the importance of recognizing that resilience is not about maintaining a status quo, but about addressing how societies can develop in a changing environment. Prominence of resilience thinking can promote a development practice better suited to address the challenges and opportunities that changes create for poor dryland communities. Resilience thinking does not provide quick solutions, but contributes a long-term, multi-dimensional perspective of building capacities for improved responses to current needs and future change. Resilience is not a solution in itself but can contribute towards developing more resilient trajectories for drylands development.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
food security; poverty reduction; resilience; vulnerability; Arid Lands Resource Sciences; community; Ethiopia
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Arid Lands Resource Sciences
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Hutchinson, Charles

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleCommunity Resilience in Drylands and Implications for Local Development in Tigray, Ethiopiaen_US
dc.creatorFörch, Wiebkeen_US
dc.contributor.authorFörch, Wiebkeen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractProgress in human development is threatened by the complexities of global environmental change - a defining challenge of our time. Appropriate societal responses are needed to address disturbances and increasing vulnerability of social-ecological systems. This changing context calls current development thinking into question and requires new approaches, policies, and tools to cope with growing uncertainty. With a focus on capacities instead of vulnerabilities, an approach is needed emphasizing the role of communities in planning interventions and strengthening community resilience. This research draws on vulnerability, social-ecological systems and drylands development theory to advance an integrated understanding of resilience at community level and its role towards sustainable development. To develop a general approach for development actors to characterize a community's resilience and plan locally targeted interventions is the overall objective of this research. A participatory approach towards defining and assessing community resilience forms the basis, as it is assumed this would enable development actors to more efficiently address development concerns and empower communities to strengthen their resilience. Underlying factors that determine community resilience in selected dryland communities in Tigray, northeastern Ethiopia are identified. Here, most of the population depends on subsistence agriculture, while food insecurity and poverty persist despite concerted regional development efforts. This research compares and consolidates local perceptions of determinants of community resilience that form the basis for guidelines towards a methodological framework for determining levels of community resilience in Tigray. The guidelines were used to compare levels of community resilience of communities, with implications for operationalizing community resilience in the context of drylands development practice. Findings reflect the importance of recognizing that resilience is not about maintaining a status quo, but about addressing how societies can develop in a changing environment. Prominence of resilience thinking can promote a development practice better suited to address the challenges and opportunities that changes create for poor dryland communities. Resilience thinking does not provide quick solutions, but contributes a long-term, multi-dimensional perspective of building capacities for improved responses to current needs and future change. Resilience is not a solution in itself but can contribute towards developing more resilient trajectories for drylands development.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectfood securityen_US
dc.subjectpoverty reductionen_US
dc.subjectresilienceen_US
dc.subjectvulnerabilityen_US
dc.subjectArid Lands Resource Sciencesen_US
dc.subjectcommunityen_US
dc.subjectEthiopiaen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineArid Lands Resource Sciencesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorHutchinson, Charlesen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMarsh, Stuarten_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFinan, Timothyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBaro, Mamadouen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHutchinson, Charlesen_US
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