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Understanding adaptive capacity and capacity to innovate in social–ecological systems: applying a gender lens

Creator: Cohen, P.J.
Creator: Lawless, S.
Creator: Dyer, M.
Creator: Morgan, M.
Creator: Saeni, E.
Creator: Teioli, H.
Creator: Kantor, P.
Year: 2016
Language: English
Publisher: Springer
Publisher: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose
Type: Article
Place of Publication: Netherlands
Pages: 309-321
Issue: S3
Volume: 45
DOI: 10.1007/s13280-016-0831-4
Description: Development policy increasingly focuses on building capacities to respond to change (adaptation), and to drive change (innovation). Few studies, however, focus specifically on the social and gender differentiation of capacities to adapt and innovate. We address this gap using a qualitative study in three communities in Solomon Islands; a developing country, where rural livelihoods and well-being are tightly tied to agriculture and fisheries. We find the five dimensions of capacity to adapt and to innovate (i.e. assets, flexibility, learning, social organisation, agency) to be mutually dependant. For example, limits to education, physical mobility and agency meant that women and youth, particularly, felt it was difficult to establish relations with external agencies to access technical support or new information important for innovating or adapting. Willingness to bear risk and to challenge social norms hindered both women’s and men’s capacity to innovate, albeit to differing degrees. Our findings are of value to those aspiring for equitable improvements to well-being within dynamic and diverse social–ecological systems.
ISSN: 0044-7447
Journal: Ambio

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  • Socioeconomics
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS

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