Assessing triggers of weather-induced disasters to inform weather risk management design in Somalia
About the talk
Weather hazards are one of the leading direct causes of humanitarian disasters and are an indirect factor in many more, exasperating vulnerability caused by conflict, disease or other stressors. However, a focus on weather hazards alone is often insufficient for understanding the dynamics that contribute to a disaster situation, especially given that the same weather conditions will have a very different impact on those with different geographies, livelihoods or demographics. A holistic understanding of the socio-environments in which communities exist and manage their livelihoods is necessary to accurately assess vulnerability to weather hazards. The seminar presents initial results from a study on “Livelihood-based index design” led by Pennsylvania State University and funded and supported by global insurance company AXA-XL. The study’s general aim is to inform the design of more tailored weather risk management products for the humanitarian sector in Somalia. Its specific objectives are to analyze the context-specific triggers of weather-induced disasters in key areas of humanitarian action in Somalia. This includes identifying and understanding key combinations of shocks and stressors, weather-related and otherwise, and the causal chain linking these to impacts. Research outputs will provide guidance on which combination of weather trends and socio-economic factors are most significant for predicting disaster situations per livelihood groups in key humanitarian areas of intervention.
About the speaker
Tatiana Gumucio is a cultural anthropologist who seeks to contribute to development efforts at the intersection of climate and rural livelihoods to advance equality and empowerment for economically and socially disadvantaged groups. Her research analyses how social differences such as gender, ethnicity, and race influence smallholder farmers' risk perceptions, climate information needs, and capacities to respond and adapt to climate variability and change. She seeks to inform effective and equitable decision-making and program development related to climate in the agricultural and food security sectors. Her research includes: participatory action research to align research and intervention with priorities of rural communities; institutional analysis and guidance for incorporating equity in development and adaptation strategies; and integration of heterogeneous risk perceptions, needs, and constraints into the design of rural climate and insurance services. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Florida.