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.
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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.
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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
- Adaptation planning
- Resilience assessment
- Adaptation pathway
- Local governance
- Transformative capacity