Understanding the Patterns of Climate-Resilient Development: A Literature Review

Abstract

DFID has worked to link adaptation and resilience in its work on climate change. Its work recognises that vulnerability and responses to climate change depend to some degree on developing countries’ structures and patterns. Oxford Policy Management (OPM) carried out a literature review to assess the evidence for this line of thinking. The review covers the main findings, gaps and future prospects of the literature published since 2004. Specifically, the review examines four research questions, each of which has its own rationale, hypothesis and approach:

(i) Question: Is there evidence that weather changes and climate shocks have a negative impact on economic growth?
Rationale: DFID will be able to justify the shift toward more climate-resilient development.
Hypothesis: Weather changes and climate shocks have a negative impact on economic growth in both the short and the long run.
Approach: Widely recognised sources, academic literature and grey literature are reviewed.

(ii) Question: Do weather-related shocks that have an impact at the micro level translate to the macro level and vice versa?
Rationale: DFID will be better able to identify ways to support climate-resilient development.
Hypothesis: Weather-related shocks and trend changes that have an impact on the micro-economy can add up to macroeconomic impacts (and vice versa) because the economy is full of interlinked systems and networks.
Approach: The concepts discussed in the literature are analysed, along with their limitations.

(iii) Question: Are there some patterns of development that increase or reduce the vulnerability of an economy to climate change?
Rationale: DFID will be better able to offer policy advice on climate-resilient development.
Hypothesis: There are some patterns of development that increase the vulnerability of an economy to climate shocks, and there are some that build resilience to deal with shocks (and, potentially, future trends).

Approach: Three development patterns are reviewed in greater detail.

(iv) Question: Is it possible to shape patterns of development using particular policies?
Rationale: DFID will be better able to offer policy advice and to determine areas where future research is needed.
Hypothesis: It is possible to shape patterns of development using policy levers. Some policy levers are more effective than others in shaping patterns toward resilience building.
Approach: Two countries’ (Ethiopia and Bangladesh) responses to climate change are assessed.

This report has been produced by Oxford Policy Management for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Adaptation Knowledge and Tools programme and published through Evidence on Demand.

The Adaptation Knowledge and Tools programme is a DFID-funded programme intended to maximise the effectiveness of UK and international investment in climate change adaptation and resilience. The knowledge and tools generated through this programme are expected to promote greater understanding of what constitutes best practice in adaptation, as well as better international cohesion and coordination around adaptation. Through these entry points the programme expects to increase the quality of international and UK adaptation programming and reduce its risk.

Citation

Tarazona, M.; Chiappe, F.; Hearle, C. Understanding the Patterns of Climate-Resilient Development: A Literature Review. Oxford Policy Management, Oxford, UK (2014) x + 70 pp.

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