Socio-political and Environmental Dimensions of Vulnerability and Recovery in Coastal Orissa

2007 - 2008

Project status: Complete

Funded by: British Academy

This research examined what recovery means in a context where vulnerability cannot be reduced to a single hazard but is an ongoing aspect of life. It analysed convergences in trajectories of livelihood and shelter for two sites in coastal Orissa, despite important differences in hazard exposure and the nature of external assistance available in the aftermath of a major disaster: the super-cyclone of 1999. It critically examined processes and prospects for recovery, in situations where entrenched ongoing vulnerability compounded by severe limitations on grassroots adaptive capacity and weak institutional support deeply undermine even recovery to a pre-disaster state let alone a condition of greater resilience. While recognising the structural constraints on institutional performance, it signals the need for a fundamental change in state approach if resilience building is to be fostered in communities that are chronically at risk from hazards.

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