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Antigua and Barbuda
Linking ICTs and Climate Change Adaptation: A Conceptual Framework for eResilience and eAdaptation
Type of Publication:Paper
ICT Focus Areas:
Access / Connectivity
Disaster Preparedness & Response Systems
Climate Change Adaptation, eResilience
Related Member States:
Angelica Valeria Ospina
Centre for Development Informatics
Junio 1, 2010Resumen
This concept paper builds four new conceptual models: i) climate change vulnerability in developing countries; ii) climate change adaptation and adaptive capacity of communities and wider 'livelihood systems'; iii) climate change resilience; and iv) the contribution of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to 'e-resilience' and 'e-adaptation'. This document is the product of the University of Manchester, United Kingdom (UK)'s "Climate Change, Innovation and ICTs" research project, funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre and managed by the University's Centre for Development Informatics.
From the Executive Summary: "Recognising the close links that exist between climate change vulnerability and the achievement of development outcomes, alongside the increasing use of ICTs within developing contexts, the aim of this paper is to set out a conceptual foundation that links climate change, livelihoods vulnerability, and the potential of ICTs in supporting systemic resilience.... The development of this ‘eResilience Framework’ [Figure 5, page 23] is based on the recognition that... a systemic perspective is needed. This allows the identification of key components, processes and properties, as well as the feedback and interactions that play a role in the realisation of adaptation processes in vulnerable settings....
The first section presents the conceptual underpinnings of livelihood systems’ vulnerability to the potential effects of climate change....Section 2 introduces the concept of resilience as a system property, arguing that, through a set of dynamic subproperties, it plays an important role in enhancing the adaptive capacity of livelihood systems. Section 3 of the document develops the last component... by exploring the potential of ICTs with respect to the subproperties of resilience, introducing the concept of eresilience and analysing the potential of ICT tools as enablers of adaptive processes within contexts vulnerable to climate change...."
The paper suggests that the role of ICTs in supporting human capital, financial capital, formal institutions, and informal institutions is understood and documented, but what is missing is an understanding of the way in which ICTs can support the development of resilience. Examples of ICTs supporting resilience include:
Following the examples of how ICTs support resilience, the document details the concept of ‘e-resilience’ - resilience subproperties that can be strengthened by ICTs - and a framework to support it. In order to develop increased e-resilience, national ICT infrastructures and policies to foster them, along with data gathering for analysis and decisionmaking, can encourage ICT infrastructure and climate change-related applications. Telecommunications can provide technical and financial support; institutions can promote broader access and connectivity in rural areas; and multisectoral alliances can foster infrastructure and incentives for entrepreneurs. Specific to agriculture, national ICT-based programmes for strengthening local knowledge on crop diversification and production under variable conditions can support food production.
According to the report, ICTs can strengthen the internal capacity of nation-wide organisations to facilitate local adaptive actions, helping local communities shape their local actions on the basis of knowledge developed with peers or from institutions of national expertise. ICTs can facilitate giving voice to the climate change-related experiences of individual communities - ensuring that these are heard and melded into the formation of appropriate national policies that will foster adaptation in the long term. They can also facilitate data gathering for decisions and action, including health, weather, geography, vulnerability of human settlements, resources for farmers, and systems that support policy action, such as tax and financial management structures. Categories for systematic analysis of the impact of ICT on climate change adaptation include: socio-political; livelihoods and finance; health; habitat (settlement and displacement); food (agriculture); and water.
The document concludes: "The value of this approach resides in its contribution to better understand the complex set of relations between livelihood system components, properties and processes, which in turn are characterised by the presence of multiple development stressors. It is expected that the model can serve as a tool to explore the potential and challenges of ICTs’ role within processes of adaptation, while facilitating the identification of strategies that could contribute to the enhancement of adaptive capacities, and ultimately to the achievement of development outcomes in the face of long term climatic uncertainty"