The Public and Private Sides of Vulnerability to Drought, An Applied Model of Participatory Planning in Cear,? Brazil

by Nelson, Donald Robert.

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation has two primary objectives. First, through an analysis of empirical data, it presents a systematic, in-depth analysis of how rural populations react and adjust to adversity within specific socio-economic and institutional contexts. The analysis applies a vulnerability framework to understand the complex relationships between households, communities, and larger environmental, socio-economic, and political factors and how they influence drought impacts on the population. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to look at issues of overall well-being, resource access, and livelihood and risk management strategies, the results provide insights into why most households are unable to successfully mitigate the impacts of drought. The analytical framework also provides a mechanism for making policy-relevant recommendations. In this vein, the dissertation explores the need for a new approach to the status quo of public policy making and presents an applied model for participatory planning to reduce drought vulnerability in CearĂ¡. The pilot program, Projeto MAPLAN, is an effort, based on an empirical understanding of the public and private sides of vulnerability, to redefine the way that politics as usual are carried out. It challenges the way in which decisions are made by stimulating public participation and providing tools for accountability. On the public side it works to institutionalize effective participation through citizen input and governmental recognition of that input. On the private side the model works to increase the availability of resources and improve access to resources in 12 order to expand the range of opportunities and strategies and to help households flourish in a semi-arid region. 13 14
Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:

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