chapter  1
6 Pages

Introduction

ByAnna O’Donnell and Quentin Wodon

This chapter discusses the coping mechanisms and adaptation strategies that households rely on when faced with weather shocks and changes in climatic and environmental conditions. The ability of households to cope with cyclones is limited and only a minority of households and communities appear to be implementing medium-term adaptation strategies. In rural India, Morduch found that transfers between households reduced income risks by 40 to 90 percent. In Bangladesh, the most common coping mechanism consists in reducing the food intake by household members, but this appears not to be practiced much in West Bengal, because of better systems of social protection there. The analysis of the household survey data suggests that while cyclones have affected the majority of households, the coping mechanisms and adaptation strategies used by households to deal with these shocks are limited, and the support on which they can count is also limited.