With a strong focus on understanding the factors that enhance or diminish people's vulnerability and wellbeing, and the responses they take to deal with both climatic and non-climatic stressors, ASSAR focused on the most marginalised. In particular, we sought to shift the adaptation narrative from centering mainly on infrastructural, technical solutions to forefronting and addressing some of the barriers posed by power structures, patriarchal norms and governance disconnects.
Gender inequality is a key factor making adaptation efforts ineffective, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Researchers and practitioners involved in ASSAR provided ample evidence to show that commonly-held beliefs about women being the most vulnerable and needing to be the target of interventions should be challenged as local realities show much more complexity and variance.
Theatre of the Oppressed is a powerful tool for bringing alternative voices into the climate change arena. Brendon Bosworth and Daniel Morchain write about theatre's potential to humanise climate change and promote solutions that put people first.
The final episode of ASSAR's climate change radio show in Namibia focused on livestock ownership, drought-resistant cattle, and ways farmers can shift to climate-smart agricultural practices. By Ndamonako Anna Iita.
Maitreyi Koduganti from the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) gives an account of a game that she developed, with the support of an ASSAR Small Opportunities Grant, to help people gain better insight into the complexities of living in peri-urban Bangalore.
The VRA methodology has been implemented by Oxfam and its partners in twelve countries and by other aid and research organizations, such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the University of Cape Town and the University of Botswana.
The Wellbeing approach considers more than what a person has (their material wellbeing); it considers what they do (their agency), and what they feel and think about what they have and are able to do (the subjective and relational dimensions of wellbeing).