Climate change in nigeria: assessing policy and practice for community resilience

  • Alima Ogah

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Aim: This research aims to inform the development and implementation of policies to support community resilience in the face of climate change.
    Background: Climate change events such as heavy rainfall, flood, storm, drought, heat wave and sea level rise are affecting many parts of the world. Hence, the concept of community resilience towards climate change has received a great deal of attention from researchers and policy makers. However, there is no clear definition of community resilience and therefore disagreement about the methods of achieving it. The perplexity associated with the definition and measurement of community resilience has also made assessing the efficiency of the policies addressing community resilience problematic.
    Methods: The research process was made up of four stages. An initial literature review, a systematic literature review to address specific research questions related to how community resilience is conceptualised and measured and a Grounded Delphi Method (GDM) study. The latter focused on how experts in Nigeria define community resilience and how it should be measured in the context of developing countries. The GDM study consisted of interviews with 21 relevant Nigerian experts and two rounds of surveys to gain a consensus on the definition of community resilience and how it can be measured. Participants in the GDM study were recruited via snowball sampling.
    Finding: The initial literature review presented in this thesis identified policies designed to support community resilience in Nigeria. It also identifies a lack of clarity in the definition of community resilience and methods applied to measure levels of community resilience. The systematic review identified three distinct ways that community resilience is conceptualised namely coping, adaptive and transformative capacity. The findings from the systematic review and the GDM study suggest that these different capacities represent a process of stages from coping to adaptation to climate change through to transformation in the face of climate change that communities need to go through to become resilient to climate change. This research also identified indicators, categorised under eight elements, for measuring community resilience at the different stages of this process focusing on those that are most relevant to reducing the effects of climate change in developing countries. It is important to note that the experts in Nigeria do not include the concept of transformation in their conceptualisation of community resilience illustrating a gap in their perceptions of the requirements related to how communities become fully resilient. However, it is accepted that, some of the indicators identified in the systematic literature review are not currently applicable to low income countries such as Nigeria due to the stage at which communities are in terms of the process of becoming resilient and limited funding. As such this research identified elements and indicators relevant to developing countries that can be prioritised for measuring the effectiveness of current policies designed to support community resilience to climate change.
    Conclusion: This research provides a method of prioritising specific, measurable indicators to inform policies designed to reduce the impacts of climate change by supporting community resilience in the context of developing countries with limited funding. The findings also suggest that the lack of empirical research into the impact of current policy on levels of community resilience at the national, regional and local scales is limiting the usefulness of the concept of community resilience in policies designed to help communities deal with climate change.
    Date of Award30 Apr 2021
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Teesside University
    SupervisorTracey Crosbie (Supervisor), Theresia Ralebitso-Senior (Supervisor) & Anthony Evans (Supervisor)

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