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The role of quantitative cross-case analysis in understanding tropical smallholder farmers' adaptive capacity to climate shocks

The role of quantitative cross-case analysis in understanding tropical smallholder farmers' adaptive capacity to climate shocks
The role of quantitative cross-case analysis in understanding tropical smallholder farmers' adaptive capacity to climate shocks
Climatic events are predicted to increase in magnitude and frequency as the climate changes, notably impacting poor and vulnerable communities across the Tropics. The urgency to better understand and improve communities' resilience is reflected in international agreements such as the Paris Agreement and the multiplication of adaptation research and action programmes. In turn, the need for collecting and communicating evidence on the climate resilience of communities has drawn increased questions on how to assess resilience. While empirical case studies are often used to delve into the context-specific nature of resilience, synthesising results is essential to produce generalisable findings at the scale at which policies are designed. Yet datasets, methods and modalities for local cross-case analyses from individual studies are still rare in climate resilience. We use empirical case studies on the impacts of El Niño on smallholder households from five countries to test the application of quantitative data aggregation for policy recommendation. We standardised data into an aggregated dataset to explore how key demographic factors affected the impact of climate shocks, modelled as crop loss. We find that while cross-study results partially align with the findings from the individual projects and with theory, several challenges associated with quantitative aggregation remain when examining complex, contextual and multi-dimensional concepts such as resilience. We conclude that future exercises synthesising cross-site empirical evidence in climate resilience could accelerate research to policy impact by using mixed methods, focusing on specific landscapes or regional scales, and facilitating research through shared frameworks and learning exercises.
1748-9326
Beauchamp, Emilie
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Moskeland, Annalyse
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Milner Gulland, Eleanor
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Hirons, Mark
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Ruli, Ben
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Byg, Anja
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Dougill, Andrew
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Jew, Eleanor
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Keane, Aidan
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Malhi, Yadvinder
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McNicol, Iain
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Morel, Alexandra
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Whitfield, Stephen
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Morris, Rebecca J
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Beauchamp, Emilie
6d51d351-782e-4a5f-8649-e75eb711e79a
Moskeland, Annalyse
34581d51-f1b5-4944-b324-bd8b79e85116
Milner Gulland, Eleanor
076a9f15-1c42-4df8-924b-2ae370a8369f
Hirons, Mark
9061c861-de16-48b8-818a-adbc41c06df4
Ruli, Ben
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Byg, Anja
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Dougill, Andrew
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Jew, Eleanor
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Keane, Aidan
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Malhi, Yadvinder
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McNicol, Iain
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Morel, Alexandra
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Whitfield, Stephen
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Morris, Rebecca J
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Beauchamp, Emilie, Moskeland, Annalyse, Milner Gulland, Eleanor, Hirons, Mark, Ruli, Ben, Byg, Anja, Dougill, Andrew, Jew, Eleanor, Keane, Aidan, Malhi, Yadvinder, McNicol, Iain, Morel, Alexandra, Whitfield, Stephen and Morris, Rebecca J (2019) The role of quantitative cross-case analysis in understanding tropical smallholder farmers' adaptive capacity to climate shocks. Environmental Research Letters. (doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab59c8).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Climatic events are predicted to increase in magnitude and frequency as the climate changes, notably impacting poor and vulnerable communities across the Tropics. The urgency to better understand and improve communities' resilience is reflected in international agreements such as the Paris Agreement and the multiplication of adaptation research and action programmes. In turn, the need for collecting and communicating evidence on the climate resilience of communities has drawn increased questions on how to assess resilience. While empirical case studies are often used to delve into the context-specific nature of resilience, synthesising results is essential to produce generalisable findings at the scale at which policies are designed. Yet datasets, methods and modalities for local cross-case analyses from individual studies are still rare in climate resilience. We use empirical case studies on the impacts of El Niño on smallholder households from five countries to test the application of quantitative data aggregation for policy recommendation. We standardised data into an aggregated dataset to explore how key demographic factors affected the impact of climate shocks, modelled as crop loss. We find that while cross-study results partially align with the findings from the individual projects and with theory, several challenges associated with quantitative aggregation remain when examining complex, contextual and multi-dimensional concepts such as resilience. We conclude that future exercises synthesising cross-site empirical evidence in climate resilience could accelerate research to policy impact by using mixed methods, focusing on specific landscapes or regional scales, and facilitating research through shared frameworks and learning exercises.

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Beauchamp+et+al_2019_Environ._Res._Lett._10.1088_1748-9326_ab59c8 - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 18 November 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 November 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435933
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435933
ISSN: 1748-9326
PURE UUID: 67ebd32e-2f98-499a-ba74-8d3c201377d5
ORCID for Rebecca J Morris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0020-5327

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 03:15

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Contributors

Author: Emilie Beauchamp
Author: Annalyse Moskeland
Author: Eleanor Milner Gulland
Author: Mark Hirons
Author: Ben Ruli
Author: Anja Byg
Author: Andrew Dougill
Author: Eleanor Jew
Author: Aidan Keane
Author: Yadvinder Malhi
Author: Iain McNicol
Author: Alexandra Morel
Author: Stephen Whitfield

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