Political and Financial Power as Determinants of International Adaptation Assistance: An Analysis of Households in Madagascar – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Political and Financial Power as Determinants of International Adaptation Assistance: An Analysis of Households in Madagascar

Holly Teeters


Pronouns: She/Her

Research Mentor(s): Katherine Browne, PhD Candidate
Research Mentor School/College/Department: , School for Environment and Sustainability
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 8
Presenter: 1

Event Link


Climate change is one of the great threats that humanity faces today. It is imperative that policymakers and governments provide their citizens with the tools necessary to handle potential natural disasters and slow-onset crises. The United Nations (UN) Paris Agreement of 2016 attempted to address the issue of climate insecurity by allocating funds to countries in need. Among the countries particularly vulnerable to climate change and in need of funds for adaptation is Madagascar. Madagascar, along with my other countries, is vulnerable due to its low capacity to adapt with weak government management and infrastructure. This study analyzes how effectively the UN and Malagasy government have implemented a climate adaptation program in rural Madagascar, where many households are vulnerable to climate crises both financially and physically. The study analyzes 600 household surveys collected in three intervention sites of a UN adaptation project, including both participants and non-participants in the program. Relevant survey data consists of banking access, land ownership, religion, food security, total household assets, political connectivity, and quantity of benefits a household received from the program. Qualitative data were given numerical values and imported into R statistical software to uncover any trends regarding correlations between financial security, political connectivity, and a household’s benefits. Multivariable and single variable regressions were conducted to find correlations between household characteristics and project benefits. The study hypothesizes that the allocation of funds favored households that have political connections and are already more financially secure. The implications of this study are very important for the international community and policymakers. If the hypothesis is correct, that the world’s most vulnerable are not getting the funds they need to adapt, it is a critique of international policy and a representation of the larger problem of corruption within leadership bodies.

Authors: Holly Teeters, Katherine Browne
Research Method: Data Collection and Analysis

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