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Disaster and Climate Resilience Across the Eastern Himalayas

The project utilised a regional approach for the integration of climate change information into risk reduction and rural development planning at the landscape scale that takes stakeholder perceptions, aspiration, and constraints more fully into account while bringing DRR and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) processes into closer interaction within institutional and policy spaces.
The research focused on the Sikkim and Darjeeling in the Eastern Himalayan Region. In Darjeeling Hills, one of the project sites Singalila ranges on the border between Nepal and India.
 
?Objectives
Taking the cases of the 2009 cyclone and the 2011 earthquake impacts in Darjeeling and Sikkim (supplemented by examination of other less dramatic and more routine incidents in recent years), the study sought to bring out specific strengths and deficits in the regional disaster response planning and implementation systems, and assessed whether weaknesses can reasonably be attributed in part to institutional isolation of DRR authority. 
 
Outcomes
Overall, the project team highlighted the need for individuals with a sharp handle on ‘politics’ and ‘political processes’ to be a part of efforts to ensure mainstreaming in infrastructure. This is because infrastructure projects are the source of substantial ‘political capital’ for operatives at different levels of governance and it is easy for the mainstreaming agenda to threaten the interests and agendas at play. The study finds that this dynamic is enhanced where government departments and ministries remain as ‘black boxes’ for external actors attempting to influence policy processes. It is particularly important for individuals with political acumen to map these environments and exploit entry points strategically.

The project utilised a regional approach for the integration of climate change information into risk reduction and rural development planning at the landscape scale that takes stakeholder perceptions, aspiration, and constraints more fully into account while bringing DRR and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) processes into closer interaction within institutional and policy spaces.

The research focused on the Sikkim and Darjeeling in the Eastern Himalayan Region. In Darjeeling Hills, one of the project sites Singalila ranges on the border between Nepal and India.

?Objectives

Taking the cases of the 2009 cyclone and the 2011 earthquake impacts in Darjeeling and Sikkim (supplemented by examination of other less dramatic and more routine incidents in recent years), the study sought to bring out specific strengths and deficits in the regional disaster response planning and implementation systems, and assessed whether weaknesses can reasonably be attributed in part to institutional isolation of DRR authority. 

Outcomes

Overall, the project team highlighted the need for individuals with a sharp handle on ‘politics’ and ‘political processes’ to be a part of efforts to ensure mainstreaming in infrastructure. This is because infrastructure projects are the source of substantial ‘political capital’ for operatives at different levels of governance and it is easy for the mainstreaming agenda to threaten the interests and agendas at play. The study finds that this dynamic is enhanced where government departments and ministries remain as ‘black boxes’ for external actors attempting to influence policy processes. It is particularly important for individuals with political acumen to map these environments and exploit entry points strategically.

Other Details

Start Date:06/01/2012
End Date:10/31/2014
Funded by:CDKN

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