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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 13 October 2022

Dereje Amene Yimam and Nathalie Holvoet

The purpose of this study is to identify the most vulnerable households and districts in Northwest Ethiopia and help decision-makers in developing and prioritising effective…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the most vulnerable households and districts in Northwest Ethiopia and help decision-makers in developing and prioritising effective adaptive strategies and actions.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-scale analytical tool and hazard-generic socio-economic indicators were developed to identify and prioritise the most vulnerable households and districts in Northwest Ethiopia. Categorical principal component analysis with 36 indicators was used to develop weights for different indicators and construct a household intrinsic vulnerability index. Data were collected through key information interviews, focus group discussions and a household survey with 1,602 randomly selected households in three districts of Northwest Ethiopia.

Findings

Drawing on intrinsic vulnerability index computation, this study highlights that low levels of education, low access to climate information and credit services, long distance travelled to fetch water and frequent food shortages are the dominant factors contributing to high levels of intrinsic vulnerability at district level, while lack of livelihood support and income diversification are the key drivers of vulnerability at household level. The findings of this study further show that the majority of households (78.01%) falls within the very high to moderately high vulnerable category. Disaggregating the data according to agro-climatic zones highlights that the prevalence of high intrinsic vulnerability is most widespread in the lowland agro-climatic zone (82.64%), followed by the highland (81.97%) and midland zones (69.40%).

Practical implications

From a policy intervention vantage point, addressing the drivers of vulnerability provides a reliable approach to reduce the current vulnerability level and manage potential climate change-induced risks of a system. Specifically, reliable information on inherent vulnerability will assist policymakers in developing policies and prioritising actions aimed at reducing vulnerability and assisting in the rational distribution of resources among households at a local level.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing vulnerability literature by showing how hazard-generic socio-economic indicators in the vulnerability assessment adopted by the IPCC (2014) are important to identify drives of vulnerability which ultimately may feed into a more fundamental treatment of vulnerability.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

Keywords

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