Vulnerability and Resilience in the Face of Climate Change: Current Research and Needs for Population Information

by E.L. Malone

Studies of vulnerability and resilience have multiplied with the growing realization that societal
response, particularly societal capacity to adapt to climate change impacts, determines both the severity of impacts and the costs of adaptation. Although research in vulnerability and resilience began by emphasizing vulnerability, the focus has shifted at least in part to resilience as a positive concept that can be more integrated with general development goals.

One common lack across vulnerability and resilience studies is an examination of studied
populations, beyond aggregate numbers and poverty status (measured, typically, in GDP per capita). With  the exception of the livelihoods approach, there is limited research that integrates household configurations and patterns of resource use, sources of vulnerability, and the role of public health (including reproductive health) can play in resilience to climate change.