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Subjective measures of household resilience to climate variability and change: insights from a nationally representative survey of Tanzania

Jones, Lindsey ORCID: 0000-0002-5568-2200, Samman, Emma and Vinck, Patrick (2018) Subjective measures of household resilience to climate variability and change: insights from a nationally representative survey of Tanzania. Ecology and Society, 23 ((1):9). ISSN 1708-3087

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Identification Number: 10.5751/ES-09840-230109


Promoting household resilience to climate extremes has emerged as a key development priority. Yet tracking and evaluating resilience at this level remains a critical challenge. Most quantitative approaches rely on objective indicators and assessment frameworks, but these are not fully satisfactory. Much of the difficulty arises from a combination of conceptual ambiguities, challenges in selecting appropriate indicators, and in measuring the many intangible aspects that contribute to household resilience. More recently, subjective measures of resilience have been advocated in helping to overcome some of the limitations of traditional objective characterizations. However, few large-scale studies of quantitative subjective approaches to resilience measurement have been conducted. In this study, we address this gap by exploring perceived levels of household resilience to climate extremes in Tanzania and the utility of standardized subjective methods for its assessment. A nationally representative cross-sectional survey involving 1294 individuals was carried out by mobile phone in June 2015 among randomly selected adult respondents aged 18 and above. Factors that are most associated with resilience-related capacities are having had advance knowledge of a previous flood, and to a lesser extent, believing flooding to be a serious community problem. Somewhat surprisingly, though a small number of weak relationships are apparent, most socio-demographic variables do not exhibit statistically significant differences with regards to perceived resilience-related capacities. These findings may challenge traditional assumptions about what factors characterize household resilience, offering a motivation for studying both subjective and objective perspectives, and understanding better their relationship to one another. If further validated, subjective measures may offer potential as both a complement and alternative to traditional objective methods of resilience measurement, each with their own merits and limitations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2018 11:17
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2024 00:24
Projects: ES/K006576/1
Funders: Department for International Development, Economic & Social Research Council

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