Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) is a five-year, multi-country research project that generates new knowledge about how economic development in semi-arid regions can be made more equitable and resilient to climate change.
PRISE aims to strengthen the commitment of decision-makers in local and national governments, businesses and trade bodies to rapid, inclusive and resilient development in these regions. It does so by deepening their understanding of the threats and opportunities that semi-arid economies face in relation to climate change.
Ground breaking in its focus, PRISE research adopts a policy and development-first approach to engaging decision-makers in governments, businesses and trade bodies. Rather than starting with complex climate change projections, this research begins by identifying the decisions people need to make now about investment choices and development options for semi-arid regions.
Decision-makers and the research team decide jointly on the research questions and study areas to ensure that the research responds to demand. This approach means that PRISE has the flexibility to support policy makers and investors with quick-response research whenever the need arises, as well as the capacity to lead longer-term collaborative studies.
PRISE research projects target semi-arid areas across six countries in Africa and Asia: Burkina Faso, Senegal, Kenya, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Each research project is led by a consortium partner and engages researchers from across the consortium members to ensure a blend of cross-disciplinary expertise and methodological insights.
PRISE research focus – Years 2 to 4
Research area 1: Migration futures in Asia and Africa: climate change and climate-resilient economic development
Led by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, with Kenya Markets Trust and the University of Ouagadougou, this research area focuses on Pakistan, Kenya and Burkina Faso.
It aims to bridge the knowledge gap with regards to climate-induced migration patterns, specifically in the context of semi-arid regions, by asking:
- How can climate-induced migration patterns be better understood and planned for improving resilience, inequalities and economic development in semi-arid regions?
The project examines potential links between climate change and variability, and internal migration patterns and the economy; and the role of climate change on internal migration patterns, and their impact on economic development, poverty, conflicts, urbanisation and adaptation capacities.
Research area 2: Migration, remittances, adaptation and resilience in arid and semi-arid regions of Senegal and Tajikistan
The research programme is led by Innovation Environnement Développement en Afrique, with the Regional Environment Center for Central Asia, and focuses on Senegal and Tajikistan. The project analyses how remittances from migrants can be more effectively channelled and re-invested in ways that will make a real impact to people’s resilience in semi-arid lands of Senegal and Tajikistan.
Research area 3: Harnessing opportunities for climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands: adaptation options in key sectors
Led by the Overseas Development Institute, with Kenya Markets Trust, Innovation, Environnement et Développement en Afrique, the University of Ouagadougou, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, this multi-country research project focuses on Senegal, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
It seeks to identify the potential for economic transformation and diversification in certain sectors in semi-arid lands by asking:
- What are the pathways for climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands through vertical and horizontal transformation?
- What are the adaptation options for business and private sector investment opportunities in responding to climate change in semi-arid lands?
Research area 4: Enabling environment for private sector/multi-stakeholder action to strengthen resilience to climate change
Led by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, with Innovation, Environnement et Développement en Afrique and Kenya Markets Trust, this research project focuses on Senegal and Kenya.
It aims at deepening understanding of how private sector actors can contribute to, and become key agents of, change for inclusive climate-resilient development; how businesses can adapt and take advantage of new opportunities created by the dynamics resulting from climate change and how the public sector and multi-stakeholder partnerships can incentivise this process.
Key research questions include:
- How is the private sector taking climate change into account, and what barriers is it facing in this process?
- What role can the public sector play in promoting change and incentivising businesses to adapt and take advantage of new opportunities created by the change in dynamics from climate change?
- How can multi-stakeholder partnerships maximise the economic development and resilience benefits of responding to climate change in semi-arid lands?
Research area 5: Property rights, investments and economic development in the context of climate change in semi-arid lands
Led by the Overseas Development Institute, with Kenya Markets Trust and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, this research project focuses on Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan.
It assesses the influence of property rights on people’s ability to adapt to climate change impacts and on climate-resilient economic development, and the joint effects of climate risks and land tenure insecurity on people’s economic welfare, by asking the following research questions:
- What is the role of access to, and ownership of, land in reducing climate vulnerability and enhancing climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands?
- Do climate change and climatic extremes accelerate structural change; and do their interactions with land tenure insecurity affect short- and long-term economic wellbeing?
Research area 6 – Part 1: Cross-boundary multi-scale governance of semi-arid lands: Implications for climate resilience and economic development
Led by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, with Innovation, Environnement et Développement en Afrique and the Overseas Development Institute, this project focuses on Senegal and Tanzania, and analyses the role of various institutional, economic and socio-political drivers in influencing the design and delivery of climate policy and influencing adaptive capacities at multiple scales.
Research questions include:
- What are the institutional, governance and financing prerequisites for climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid areas?
- How does public policy have to change to make climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid areas happen, and what barriers exist to this change?
Research area 6 – Part 2: Resilience to climate-related shocks and stressors in Kyrgyzstan: developing resilience indicators to predict well-being
Led by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, with the Mountain Societies Research Institute at the University of Central Asia, this project explores the mechanisms through which Kyrgyzstan’s communities respond to climate-related shocks and stressors, investigates the socio-environmental factors that enable well-being in these conditions, and aims to develop innovative measures to track resilience over time and space. The project aims to understand:
- Which household characteristics are most strongly associated with improved resilience and well-being across differing livelihood types in Kyrgyzstan
- Which resilience measures (objective and/or subjective) most effectively predict well-being in the face of shocks and stressors
The results of the research should inform resilience policy and programme design as the project aims to provide context-specific information on which conditions most enable resilience at the household level, and research and Non-Governmental Organisation practice as the project will provide some of the first longitudinal data on which measures of resilience are most strongly associated with well-being
Research area 7: Water governance in semi-arid lands: political and economic insights for the management of variability and extremes in a changing climate
Led by the Overseas Development Institute, with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, and the University of Ouagadougou, the research focuses on Burkina Faso and Pakistan.
It analyses how institutions and decision-making respond to crises of too much and too little water, as well as oscillations between extremes, by using a ‘political economy’ lens to ask:
- What role do political-economy considerations play in determining water governance responses to extreme climate events – such as droughts and floods – in semi-arid regions?
- What are the distributional outcomes, for prosperity and/or equity, of these responses?
- To what extent can insights from past extreme events support learning to inform policy and institutional planning for future climate resilience in the water sector?
The consortium’s member organisations are: the Overseas Development Institute and the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Pakistan, and Innovation, Environnement et Développement Afrique in Senegal. The project is funded by the International Development Research Centre in Canada and the UK Department for International Development.