Review of concepts and relationships_Dr. Vishal Narain


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Overview of key project concepts and
relationships around peri-urban, climate
change, adaption, vulnerability and
water security
- Dr. Vishal Narain, MDI

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Review of concepts and relationships_Dr. Vishal Narain

  1. 1. Periurban water security and adaptation A review of concepts and relationships
  2. 2. Objectives of this presentation • Develop a shared glossary of this project • A common understanding of terms and concepts used in the proposal/general • Move towards some conceptual framework • Use this to structure our research/lead our research questions in the respective locations
  3. 3. Terms and concepts key to this study • Periurban – Defining periurban – Should we define it in terms of its geographical connotations or in terms of certain features • Vulnerability – Risk – Exposure – Adaptation – Coping capacity and resilience
  4. 4. Key terms and concepts • Institutions – As distinguished from organizations – Land tenure and tenure security – Social capital • Water security • Technology • Ecological foot-print
  5. 5. Periurban • Confusing term with no consensus regarding its meaning • Used to denote a place – Fringe areas around cities – Rural areas, but also urban areas away from the core • Process – Transition from rural to urban • Concept/analytic construct – To study rural-urban relationships
  6. 6. Counterparts of periurban in other languages • Dutch – halfstedig (semi-urban) • East Asia – 'desakota‘ (city village) • German – urban landlichen zonen (urban rural zones) • Afrikaans – buitestedelik (outer city or beyond the city)
  7. 7. What defines periurban • Place-based definitions problematic – Definition of urban and rural vary from country to country – Towns and villages often get reclassified frequently • Look for certain features: – Changing land use – Multiple claimants – Social heterogeneity – Livelihoods across both urban and rural spaces – Changing locus of control over natural resources
  8. 8. Locating a ‘periurbanscape’ • A mixed patchwork of contrasting land uses – Agricultural fields, farm-houses, amusement parks, brick kilns, mining and quarrying, high rise buildings
  9. 9. Vulnerability • used to describe people and organizations that are negatively affected, directly or indirectly, by a single process or event (O’ Brien at al., 2009). • captures the changing nature of risks and variable capacity to cope with both risk and change (Kirby 1996)
  10. 10. Vulnerability • concept used to draw attention to – the specific contextual factors that influence exposure – capacity to respond to change – in order to explain how and why some groups and individuals experience negative outbreaks from shocks and stressors (Leichenko and O’Brien 2002). • The key to understanding vulnerability is to identify where and how different stressors interact – that vulnerability can be used to draw attention to the effects of multiple stressors on people's well-being and livelihoods (de Waal, 2006).
  11. 11. Relevance of the concept • Within both research and practitioner communities, vulnerability reduction is increasingly recognized as necessary for improving human well-being and human security in the face of multiple shocks (O’Brien et al., 2009). • Reducing the vulnerability of the most vulnerable households involved in agriculture and elsewhere in the developing world requires complementary measures to safeguard natural resources to promote market access and to augment human capital.
  12. 12. For our research • We use the concept as an entry point to see how multiple stressors interact • Recognize vulnerability as a chronic phenomenon and not just in the context of extreme events • Identify elements of risk/hazard/exposure/coping capacity/resilience – During our scoping study make first attempt ?
  13. 13. Adaptation • an adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects, which moderate harm or exploit benefit opportunities. – IPCC (2007) – We see adaptation as shaped by a mix of technologies and institutions
  14. 14. Coping capacity • Coping capacity can be defied as a combination of all strengths and resources available within a community or organization that can reduce the level of risk or the effects of a disaster (UNRISD 2002).
  15. 15. • Hazard is understood as a potentially damaging physical event, phenomenon and/or human activity, which may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic dispruption or environmental degradation (UNRISD 2002).
  16. 16. Risk • The term risk encompasses the probability and the amount of harmful consequences or expected losses resulting from interactions between natural or human induced hazards and vulnerable conditions (UNISDR 2002). • The relevance of hazards and risks will vary across our research locations, depending on the likely impacts of extreme events like floods, droughts, glacial outbursts and others.
  17. 17. What are institutions ? • Institutions: regularized patterns of interaction through which the society organizes itself • Regularized patterns of social interaction • Sets of norms, rules and conventions • Law – Property rights – Social relationships – Written/unwritten – Explicit/implicit
  18. 18. What are organizations ? • Organizations • Bodies of individuals with a specified common objective – Political organizations – Economic organizations – Social organizations – Religious organizations
  19. 19. Social capital • attempts to describe features of populations such as levels of civic participation, social networks and trust • shape the quality and quantity of social interactions and the social institutions that underpin society (Mackenzie and Harpham 2006). • An individual's social relationships allow differential access to resources and these relationships define social capital (Bourdieu 1986)
  20. 20. The components of social capital • community networks, voluntary, state, personal networks and density • civic engagement, participation and use of civic networks • local civic identity, sense of belonging, solidarity and equality with local commnuity members • reciprocity and norms of cooperation, a sense of obligation to help others and confidence in return of assistance • trust in the community. – Putnam (1993)
  21. 21. Land tenure • the relationship, whether legally or customarily defined, among people, as individuals or groups, with respect to land and associated natural resources, including water, trees, minerals and wildlife (Clover and Eriksen 2008). • the terms and conditions on which land is held, used and transacted, determining who can use land resources for how long and under what conditions. – basic to understanding water security in periurban contexts
  22. 22. Water Security • Water insecurity – a condition of uncertainty in the availability of water. – we conceptualize water (in)security as being shaped by the parallel processes of urbanization and climate change • Dictionary meaning of secure – ‘safe, reliable, stable, fixed’. ‘Security’, then, is a ‘secure condition or feeling’. –
  23. 23. Technology • ‘knowledge or use of mechanical arts and sciences; these subjects collectively.’ • denote physical artifacts through which water users access water – embodiment of certain types of knowledge – not socially neutral
  24. 24. Technology…. • Tubewells, pump-sets, sprinklers, hand- pumps, submersibles, • Spouts, step-wells, manually operated pulleys • How do they shape access to water and how do users adapt to water insecurity through different technologies ?
  25. 25. Ecological foot-print • Measure of the consumption of resources, or of the demands on the eco-system • Provides us a tool to study rural-urban relationships • How is the ecological foot-print of cities borne by the periurban locations in terms of the demands for land and water ?