What is the project about?
The increasing frequency and severity of sudden and slow-onset climate-related hazards are bearing visible effects on natural and human systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The consequences of these hazards threaten to derail national and global efforts to achieve sustainable development goals in LMICs. A consensus among scholars holds that climate hazards are crucially linked to migration. From a scientific research perspective, the research portfolio on droughts and cyclones fails to match the severity of its current and likely future impact in Africa.
Taking Madagascar, a LMIC characterized by dual exposure to sudden and slow-onset climatic hazards and increasing human migration, the proposed project, CHAIN, aims to achieve the following intertwined objectives:
- Develop a cost-effective procedure to improve our measure of migration in areas vulnerable to climate change with low capacity for data collection, and over a sufficient spatial and temporal scale required for modeling these processes.
- Develop and validate cost-effective procedures to measure multiple hazards (e.g. cyclone incidence, flooding, and droughts) using state-of-the-art numerical modeling, remote sensing techniques and satellite data available to the public.
- Contribute a more human-centric approach to quantifying the relationships underlying migration as adaptive responses to socio-environmental change by exploring the roles of migration duration in a multi-hazard environment, as well as the vulnerability of specific demographic groups.
- Investigate anticipated dynamic migration patterns accounting for adaptation and policy responses and their associated feedbacks.
The project's research questions
CHAIN will adopt an integrated multidisciplinary human-centric approach to develop, synthesize, integrate, and supplement data and models to research the complex relationships among the many factors influencing migration/mobility and its relationship to climate hazards, and improve evidence production, public and policy debate, and decision-making. Specifically, the project will take a mixed-methods approach to i) integrate existing spatial and socio-economic data on livelihoods and mobility, ii) develop a high-frequency panel of individuals in sending and receiving areas and those actively mobile, iii) model projected impacts of future shocks - specifically, cyclones and drought events, and iv) develop a coupled human-environment model of livelihoods decision-making, response to shocks, and landscape outcomes. Importantly, social scientists, environmental monitoring experts, and non-academic stakeholders will work together in a participatory research design to, first, broaden and contextualize remote sensing methods, data, and results, and, second, verify, interpret, deepen, and extract meaning from remotely sensed patterns.
The research team is gender-balanced and interdisciplinary, and includes researchers from Sweden (Nordic Africa Institute and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), France (The Research Institute for Development, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement), Madagascar (University of Antananarivo), and USA (Arizona State University; Oregon State University; and Boston University). The core research team of CHAIN brings together many relevant competencies for successfully delivering on the project goals from environmental physics and geography, climatology and environmental sciences, development studies, applied development economics, policy evaluation, and behavioral and other social sciences. These skills are critical to develop integrated human-centric approaches and better understand complex relationships among the many factors influencing migration/mobility and its relationship to climate hazards. In addition to the researchers, 6 national and international stakeholder organizations in Madagascar will be engaged in CHAIN to help implement the WPs and handle stakeholder relationships and dissemination of results.
Links to the project participants' websites
- Nordic Africa Institute External link.:
- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences External link.:
- University of Antananarivo External link.
- The Research Institute for Development External link.:
- Arizona State University External link.:
- Oregon State University External link.:
- Boston University External link.