An Integrated National Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Development Investment Framework for Barbados- A Small Island Developing State (SIDS)

  • Nicole Greenidge

Student thesis: Phd


Disasters and climate change threaten the very existence of a special group of developing states- Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This research tackles the problem of limited uptake of integrated approaches to address risk in practice- in particular through disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). The benefits of these approaches are so significant that they can be considered to be investments in development. Focusing on Barbados, a SIDS, this research therefore seeks to identify the prospects for establishing an integrated disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (DRR-CCA) development decision-making framework. It also seeks to understand the policy implications for other SIDS. In addressing the research problem, a risk governance framework and mixed methods approach is proposed for identifying the prospects for DRR-CCA. This allows for the challenges and the potential in actor networks, institutions, and the various dimensions of risk decision-making to be identified. The specific SIDS DRR-CCA risk governance framework utilised to generate the prospects is identified from literature. Data from documents, surveys and in-depth semi-structured interviews with 30 representatives from 20 organisations operating at different levels were gathered on DRR and CCA risk governance in Barbados from November, 2014 to May 2015. Analysis was carried out using document analysis, thematic analysis; social network analysis, and descriptive statistics. The research identifies that SIDS require an enhanced risk governance framework for DRR-CCA. This framework has a systemic approach at the core, as well as an explicit development approach supported by a joined-up governance approach. Furthermore, risk assessments should include assessments of adaptive capacity. Existing potential for DRR-CCA risk governance was identified in highly dense networks, established disaster management networks, and a unique polycentric network that engages intraregional partners in national governance. Notwithstanding, challenges related to cohesion within and across institutions and sectors; missing community and socio-economic participation; as well as issues connected to unadjusted mind-sets to address the DRR paradigm shift in practice, and limited development-socio-ecological systems approaches, meant that the prospects identified mainly addressed these shortcomings. A spatial methodology for DRR-CCA seemed feasible. This research contributes a framework for conceptualising DRR-CCA risk governance in SIDS which could be applicable to others. It offers a Caribbean SIDS perspective and practical suggestions for DRR-CCA that are relevant to SIDS practitioners and donors. Further research should focus on testing the prospects across the varying governance contexts of SIDS.
Date of Award31 Dec 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorSarah Lindley (Supervisor) & Richard Kingston (Supervisor)


  • Barbados
  • governance
  • development
  • policy coherence
  • integration
  • small island developing states (SIDS)
  • social network analysis
  • risk governance
  • climate change adaptation
  • disaster risk reduction
  • island studies

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