Activities for 2016

Building on existing work and a positive external evaluation, the Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) Program intends to increase its expertise by intensifying research in the following areas.

Adapted from: © Miroslava Hlavačová | Dreamstime

Adapted from: © Miroslava Hlavačová | Dreamstime

The International Loss and Damage Mechanism: RPV has already contributed substantially to the framing of this mechanism, which addresses the impacts of climate change in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, and plans to produce a collaborative book on the topic.

Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance: RPV will continue its unique alliance, intensifying its work in Indonesia, Nepal, and Peru.

Disaster risk reduction: A high priority of RPV is identifying cost-effective measures for reducing risks to the poor. Equally important is identifying support mechanisms and incentives through insurance/safety net programs, and RPV will continue its already extensive work on investigating how insurance has promoted (or discouraged) risk reduction.

Crop insurance: A looming issue in Europe, already topical in the US and highly relevant for the developing world, is crop insurance. A plan by the EU to encourage highly subsidized crop insurance for perils such as floods, storms, hail, and drought, is being implemented in Austria. RPV in collaboration with the Ecosystems Services and Management Program and Wharton researchers will investigate the viability and equity of this policy. This will include costs, the distribution of benefits across small and large farmers and taxpayers, implications for the environment and climate change adaptation, and alternative risk management strategies.

Governing the energy transition: RPV is engaging in a project involving stakeholders in the Middle East and North Africa region to develop a renewable energy strategy. This work will continue with a focus on Egypt and Morocco, and a new research project will begin on implementing Austria’s ambitious program for regional energy independence by investing in renewable energy technologies.

Nexus activities: RPV plans to contribute to nexus activities at IIASA, with interdisciplinary risk research on the multiple risks that are salient to integrated pathways to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. RPV will also explore how to apply its expertise in probabilistic risk analysis, multi-actor and multi-criteria analyses, resilience, and expert-stakeholder processes to enrich scenario analyses and modeling results at IIASA for the food, water, and energy nexus.

Equity and inequality: Building on RPV’s early research identifying plural views of fairness [1][2][3] and its proven track record in designing participatory processes characterized by strongly convergent views on equity and fairness, RPV will explore an approach for incorporating considerations of “equity and inequality” in integrated assessment modeling. Complementing these activities, RPV will continue its leadership role in the cross-cutting project, Systemic Risk and Network Dynamics, where work is underway to develop a network approach that explores the nexus of financial collapse and extreme flood events. RPV will also continue its leadership in the cross-cutting project, Equitable Governance of Common Goods, which is designing and testing a common-resource forestry game that for the first time takes into account the heterogeneity in the worldviews of the participants.

[1] Linnerooth-Bayer J, Vari A, Thompson M (2006). Floods and fairness in Hungary. In: Clumsy Solutions for a Complex World: Governance, Politics and Plural Perception, Governance, Politics and Plural Perception Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, UK.

[2] Rayner S, Malone EL & Thompson M (1999). Equity issues in integrated assessment. In Fair Weather: Equity Concerns in Climate Change ed. FL Toth, pp 11-43. Earthscan, London, UK.

[3] Thompson, M. (2011). A bit of the other: why scarcity isn't all it's cracked up to be. In: The Limits To Scarcity: Contesting The Politics of Allocation ed. L Mehta, pp. 127-142. Orient Black Swan, New Delhi, India.

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Last edited: 10 May 2016


Joanne Linnerooth-Bayer

Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholar Equity and Justice Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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