Social learning-based disaster resilience : collective action in flash flood-prone Sunamganj communities in Bangladesh
Despite widespread recognition that social learning can potentially contribute toward enhancing community resilience to climate-induced disaster shocks, studies on this process remain few and far between. This study investigates the role of local institutions (formal, informal, and quasi-formal) in creating learning arenas and translating social learning into collective action in flash flood-prone Sunamganj communities in Bangladesh. We follow a Case Study approach using qualitative research methods. Primary data were collected through 24 key informant interviews, 10 semi-structured interviews, six focus-group discussions, and two participant observations events. Our results reveal that the diversity and flexibility of local-level institutions creates multiple learning platforms in which social interaction, problem formulation, nurturing diverse perspectives, and generating innovative knowledge for collective action can take place. Within these formal and informal learning arenas, communities’ desire and willingness to be self-reliant and to reduce their dependency on external funding and assistance is clearly evident. Social learning thus paves the way for institutional collaboration, partnership, and multi-stakeholder engagement, which facilitates social learning-based collective action. Nurturing institutional diversity and flexibility at the local level is therefore recommended for transforming social learning into active problem-solving measures and to enhance community resilience to disaster shocks.
Auteur ou autrice(s) : Azada, M. Abul Kalam, Haque, C. Emdad, Choudhury, Mahed-Ul-Islam