Designing adaptation pathways for flood-affected households in Bangladesh

Abstract

Existing adaptation planning processes are inadequate to address the impacts of flooding. The goal of the study is to design adaptation pathways for enhancing livelihood resilience of flood-affected households in Bangladesh—one of the most flood-vulnerable countries in the world. We developed adaptation pathways by using three sequential steps: (1) assessing livelihood resilience by constructing resilience indices; (2) determining adaptation options by employing principal component analysis (PCA) of resilience indicators; and (3) designing pathways of selected adaptation options by conducting key informant interviews (KIIs), and participatory workshops. Livelihood resilience was assessed based on an established framework that builds on 18 indicators representing three capacities (absorptive, adaptive and transformative) and six dimensions: social, institutional, economic, ecological, physical, and political. Using a structured questionnaire survey, we collected data from 360 households of 18 villages of 9 sub-districts in Bangladesh. Results revealed that about one-third of total households had capacities to reduce flood shocks and stresses and improve livelihood opportunities. Following a resilience assessment, we conducted PCA for determining adaptation options, namely learning, infrastructure, and governance. Through KIIs and stakeholder engagement workshops, pathways of selected adaptation options were designed. The adaptation pathways entail short-, medium-, and long-term adaptation options, which contribute to maintaining persistence, leading to the transition, and facilitating transformation. Essential issues of implementation of adaptation pathways were determined. Critical policy implications around strengthening governance, promoting economy, and managing technologies were outlined.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  1. Adger, W. N., Brooks, N., Bentham, G., Agnew, M., & Eriksen, S. (2004). New indicators of vulnerability and adaptive capacity. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Report 7. Tyndall Centre, Norwich, UK.

  2. Ahmed, A. U., Huq, S., Nasreen, M., & Hassan, A. W. R. (2015). Climate change and disaster management. Sectoral inputs towards the formulation of the 7th Five Year Plan (2016–2021). Planning Commission, Dhaka, p. 63.

  3. Aleksandrova, M., Gain, A. K., & Giupponi, C. (2016). Assessing agricultural systems vulnerability to climate change to inform adaptation planning: An application in Khorezm, Uzbekistan. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change,21, 1263–1287.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Allen, B. L., & Morton, L. W. (2006). Generating self-organizing capacity: Leadership practices and training needs in non-profits. Journal of Extension,44, 1–13.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Ayeb-Karlsson, S., van der Geest, K., Ahmed, I., Huq, S., & Warner, K. (2016). A people-centred perspective on climate change, environmental stress, and livelihood resilience in Bangladesh. Sustainability Science,11, 679–694.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Babbie, E. (1995). The practice of social research (pp. 161–175). Washington: Wadsworth.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bahadur, A. V., Ibrahi, M., & Tanner, T. (2013). Characterising resilience: Unpacking the concept for tackling climate change and development. Climate and Development,5, 55–65.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Barnett, J., Graham, S., Mortreux, C., Fincher, R., Waters, E., & Hurlimann, A. (2014). A local coastal adaptation pathway. Nature Climate Change,4, 1103–1108.

    Google Scholar 

  9. BBS (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics). (2016). Bangladesh disaster related statistics 2015: Climate change and natural disaster perspective. BBS, MoP, GoB.

  10. Béné, C., Wood, R. G., Newsham, A., & Davies, M. (2012). Resilience: New utopia or new tyranny? Reflection about the potentials and limits of the concept of resilience in relation to vulnerability reduction programmes. IDS working papers, no. 405.

  11. Bloemen, P., Reeder, T., Zevenbergen, C., Rijke, J., & Kingsborough, A. (2017). Lessons learned from applying adaptation pathways in flood risk management and challenges for the further development of this approach. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-017-9773-9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Brooks, N., Aure, E., & Whiteside, M. (2014). Assessing the impact of ICF programmes on household and community resilience to climate variability and climate change. London: DFID.

    Google Scholar 

  13. de Bruijn, K., Buurman, J., Mens, M., Dahm, R., & Klijn, F. (2017). Resilience in practice: Five principles to enable societies to cope with extreme weather events. Environmental Science & Policy,70, 21–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2017.02.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Cabell, J. F., & Oelofse, M. (2012). An indicator framework for assessing agroecosystem resilience. Ecology and Society.,17, 18.

    Google Scholar 

  15. CARE. (2015). Flooding in north-western Bangladesh- HCTT joint needs assessment. CARE Bangladesh, p. 53.

  16. Chan, N. W., Roy, R., Lai, C. H., & Tan, M. L. (2018). Social capital as a vital resource in flood disaster recovery in Malaysia. International Journal of Water Resources Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2018.1467312.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Dasgupta, S., Hossain, M. M., Huq, M., & Wheeler, D. (2014). Climate change, soil salinity, and the economics of high-yield rice production in coastal Bangladesh. Policy research working paper 7140, Development Research Group, World Bank.

  18. Esty, D. C., Levy, M., Srebotnjak, T., & de Sherbinin, A. (2005). Environmental Sustainability Index: Benchmarking national environmental stewardship. New Haven: Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy.

    Google Scholar 

  19. FAO. (2015). Self-evaluation and holistic assessment of climate resilience of farmers and pastoralists. Paris: FAO.

    Google Scholar 

  20. FAO. (2017). Bangladesh: Severe floods in 2017 affected large numbers of people and caused damage to the agriculture sector. GIEWS update. Dhaka: FAO.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (4th ed.). London: SAGE.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Folke, C. (2016). Oxford research encyclopedia of environmental science: resilience. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.8.

  23. Gain, A. K., Benson, D., Rahman, R., Datta, D. K., & Rouillard, J. J. (2017). Tidal river management in the South West Ganges-Brahmaputra delta: Moving towards a transdisciplinary approach? Environmental Science & Policy,75, 111–120.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Gain, A. K., & Giupponi, C. (2015). A dynamic assessment of water scarcity risk in the Lower Brahmaputra River Basin: An integrated approach. Ecological Indicators,48, 120–131.

    Google Scholar 

  25. GED. (2018). Bangladesh delta plan 2100. Planning commission, GoB, p. 789. www.plancomm.gov.bd.

  26. GED (General Economic Division). (2015). The 7th five-year plan (2016–2020): Accelerating growth and empowering citizens. Dhaka: GED, Planning commission.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Giupponi, C., & Gain, A. K. (2017). Integrated spatial assessment of the water, energy and food dimensions of the sustainable development goals. Regional Environmental Change,17, 1881–1893. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-016-0998-z.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. GIZ. (2014). Assessing and monitoring climate resilience. Bonn: GIZ, GmbH.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Haasnoot, M., Kwakkel, J. H., Walker, W. E., & ter Maat, J. (2013). Dynamic adaptive policy pathways: A method for crafting robust decisions for a deeply uncertain world. Global Environmental Change,23, 485–498.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Hassan, S., & Ahmed, R. (2012). Hard to reach areas: providing water supply and sanitation service to all. Water and sanitation programme guidance note. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Hossain, P. R., Ludwig, F., & Leemans, R. (2018). Adaptation pathways to cope with salinization in south-west coastal region of Bangladesh. Ecology and Society,23(3), 27.

    Google Scholar 

  32. IPCC. (2012). Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation. In C. B. Field et al. (Eds.), A special report of working groups I and II of the IPCC (p. 582). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  33. IPCC. (2014). Climate change 2014: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: Global and sectoral aspects. In C. B. Field et al. (Eds.), Contribution of working group II to the fifth 5AR of the IPCC (p. 1132). Cambridge University Press.

  34. Jeans, H., Castillo, G., & Thomas, S. (2016). The future is a choice: The Oxfam framework and guidance for resilient development. Oxford: Oxfam.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Karim, M. R., & Thiel, A. (2017). Role of community-based local institution for climate change adaptation in the Teesta riverine area of Bangladesh. Climate Risk Management,17, 92–103.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Kreibich, H., Baldassarre, G. D., Orogushyn, S. V., et al. (2017). Adaptation to flood risk: Results of international paired flood event studies. Earth’s Future. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000606.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Lin, B. B., Capon, T., Langston, A., Taylor, B., Wise, R., Williams, R., et al. (2017). Adaptation pathways in coastal case studies: Lessons learned and future directions. Coastal Management,45, 384–405.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Lipper, L., et al. (2014). Climate-smart agriculture and food security. Nature Climate Change,4, 1068–1072.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Miller, F., et al. (2010). Resilience and vulnerability: Complementary or conflicting concepts? Ecology and Society,15, 11–23.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Mimura, N. R. S., Pulwarty, D. M., Duc, I., Elshinnawy, M., Redsteer, H. Q., Huang, J. N. et al. (2014). Adaptation planning and implementation. In C. B. Field, D. J. Barros, K. J. Dokken, M. D. Mach, T. E. Mastrandrea, M. Bilir, et al. (Eds.), Climate change 2014: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: Global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (pp. 869–898). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  41. Mitchell, A. (2013). Risk and resilience: From good idea to good practice. OECD Development Co-operation working papers, no. 13. https://doi.org/10.1787/5k3ttg4cxcbp-en.

  42. MoDMR (Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief). (2017). The national plan for disaster management (2016–20). MoDMR, GoB.

  43. MoEF. (2009). Bangladesh climate change strategy and action plan 2009. MoEF, Government of Bangladesh (GoB), Dhaka.

  44. MoEF. (2012). Rio+20: Bangladesh report on sustainable development. MoEF. Bangladesh.

  45. MoEF. (2015). Intended nationally determined contributions (INDC). MoEF, GoB.

  46. Mullan, M., Kingsmill, N., Kramer, A. M., & Agrawala, S. (2013). National adaptation planning: Lessons from OECD countries. OECD environment working papers, no. 54, ENV/WKP (2013)1, OECD Publishing, Paris, France, p. 74.

  47. O’Brien, K., Leichenko, R., Kelkar, U., Venema, H., Aandahl, G., Tomkins, H., et al. (2004). Mapping vulnerability to multiple stressors: Climate change and globalisation in India. Global Environmental Change,14, 303–313.

    Google Scholar 

  48. O’Connell, D., Walker, B., Abel, N., & Grigg, N. (2015). The resilience, adaptation and transformation assessment framework: From theory to application. Canberra: CSIRO.

    Google Scholar 

  49. OECD. (2008). Handbook on constructing composite indicators: Methodology and user guide. Paris: OECD.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Ostrom, E. (2009). A general framework for analysing sustainability of socio-ecological systems. Science,325, 419.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. Pelling, M. (2011). Adaptation to climate change: From resilience to transformation. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Quinlan, A. E., Berbes-Blazquez, M., Haider, L. J., & Peterson, G. D. (2015). Measuring and assessing resilience: Broadening understanding through multiple disciplinary perspectives. Journal of Applied Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12550.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Roberts, E., Andrei, S., Huq, S., & Flint, L. (2015). Resilience synergies in the post-2015 development agenda. Nature Climate Change,5, 1024–1025.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Roy, R. (2018). Evaluating the suitability of community-based adaptation: a case study of Bangladesh. In W. Leal Filho, et al. (Eds.), Handbook of climate change communication. Climate change management (Vol. 1, pp. 39–61). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Roy, R., Chan, N. W., & Rainis, R. (2014). Rice farming sustainability assessment in Bangladesh. Sustainability Science,9, 31–44.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Roy, R., Chan, N. W., Uemura, T., & Imura, H. (2013). The vision of agri-environmental sustainability in Bangladesh: How the policies, strategies and institutions delivered? Journal of Environmental Protection,4, 40–51.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Roy, R., Chan, N. W., & Xenarios, S. (2015). Sustainability of rice production systems: An empirical evaluation to improve policy. Environment, Development and Sustainability,18, 257–278.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Roy, R., Gain, A. K., Samat, N., Hurlbert, M., Tan, M. L., & Chan, N. W. (2019). Resilience of coastal agricultural systems in Bangladesh: Assessment for agroecosystem stewardship strategies. Ecological Indicators,106, 105525.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Rosenzweig, C., & Solecki, W. (2014). Hurricane sandy and adaptation pathways in New York: Lessons from a first-responder city. Global Environmental Change,28, 395–408.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Saranya, C., & Manikandan, G. (2013). A study on normalisation techniques for privacy-preserving data mining international. Journal of Engineering and Technology,5, 2701–2704.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Siebentritt, M., Halsey, N., & Stafford-Smith, M. (2014). Regional climate change adaptation plan for the Eyre Peninsula. Prepared for the Eyre Peninsula Integrated Climate Change Agreement Committee.

  62. Stafford Smith, M., Horrocks, L., Harvey, A., & Hamilton, C. (2010). Rethinking adaptation for a 4 °C world. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A,369, 196–216.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Tan, M. L., Ibrahim, A. L., Yusop, Z., Chua, V. P., & Chan, N. W. (2017). Climate change impacts under CMIP5 RCP scenarios on water resources of the Kelantan River Basin, Malaysia. Atmospheric Research,89(1), 1–10.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Tanner, T., et al. (2014). Livelihood resilience in the face of climate change. Nature Climate Change. https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE2431.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Tanoue, M., Hirabayashi, Y., & Ikeuchi, H. (2016). Global-scale river flood vulnerability in the last 50 years. Scientific Reports,6, 36021. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep36021.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  66. USAID. (2014). Climate-resilient development: A framework for understanding and addressing climate change. Washington, DC: USAID Global Climate Change Office.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Wise, R. M., & Capon, T. R. (2016). Assessing the costs and benefits of coastal climate adaptation. CoastAdapt Information Manual 4, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast.

  68. World Economic Forum. (2019). The global risks report 2019. Davos: World Economic Forum.

    Google Scholar 

  69. World Bank. (2013). Turn down the heat: Climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience. Washington, DC: The World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  70. World Bank. (2017). World development report 2017: Governance and the law. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Universiti Sains Malaysia for providing the fund to write this paper through ‘Teaching Fellow’ position of the first author. The Research University Team Grant (1001/PHUMANITI/856002) has financially supported the research. AK Gain is supported by Marie Skłodowska Curie Global Fellowship of European Commission (Grant Agreement No. 787419), whose support is gratefully acknowledged.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ranjan Roy.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file1 (DOCX 40 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Roy, R., Gain, A.K., Hurlbert, M.A. et al. Designing adaptation pathways for flood-affected households in Bangladesh. Environ Dev Sustain (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-020-00821-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Adaptation planning
  • Resilience assessment
  • Adaptation pathway
  • Local governance
  • Transformative capacity
  • Bangladesh